Numerous promising tips called in after media appeal Tuesday.
The video posted May 3rd to a Facebook page called Vancouver Wildlife shows a man feeding a bear rice cakes at close range.
The video was anonymously sent to the BC Conservation Officer Service that took it to the media Tuesday along with an appeal to the public to help identify those behind the the video.
“Since going to the media with that request for information, we’ve had several promising leads provided to us as to the identity of these people and where they might be found” said Constable Daniel Eichstadter of the BC Conservation Officers Service.
The recording was removed from the Facebook page Tuesday as word spread that officers wanted to speak to the people seen and heard in the video.
Investigators believe the people responsible for the video are the same people behind the Facebook page and are urging them to to turn themselves in.
A CHEK News request sent to the Facebook page requesting comment did not receive a reply.
“We’re urging them to take that proactive step and to get in touch with us. It really is in their best interest to come forward and take responsibility for what they’ve done” said Eichstadter.
It is illegal to feed bears and penalties can range from a $345.00 fine or charges under the BC Wildlife Act.
The future of the bear itself is not good. It’s activity is being monitored but those who rehabilitate bears says this or any bear that has been fed human food is doomed to almost certain death.
“I imagine that someone will try this again or the bear will continue to be seen at which point it’s a safety issue for people and that doesn’t leave them many more options other than to put the bear down” said Julie Mackey of the North Island Wildlife Recovery association in Errington.
She added the bear is now unlikely to leave the area.
“If it’s found an easy food source it’s going to hang out and wait for the next person to offer it something” said Mackey.
When asked if the Conservation Officer Service wants to make an example of this case, Constable Eichstadter responded “We want to treat this as the occurrence that it is, an extremely dangerous event and putting the public, themselves and those bears at risk.”