A Kodiak bear is fed ice cream in a Dairy Queen drive-thru in a screengrab from a video posted to Facebook by the Discovery Wildlife Park. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook-Discovery Wildlife Park

Province charges Alberta zoo after ice-cream-eating bear video

Alberta laid two charges under its Wildlife Act against a central Alberta zoo after a bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream.

The province has laid two charges under its Wildlife Act against a central Alberta zoo after a bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream.

A video, posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, showed a one-year-old captive Kodiak bear named Berkley leaning out a truck’s window and being hand-fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.

Bear experts called it irresponsible and disrespectful — although a zoo trainer defended it as educational and done on “purpose for a purpose.”

Officials with the province began investigating the video and the terms of the zoo’s permit.

Wildlife officers allege the zoo failed to notify the province prior to the bear leaving the park.

Related: Giant panda family makes its Calgary Zoo debut

Related: Queen emerges as baboon battle ends at Toronto Zoo after hormone intervention

Discovery Wildlife Park and its owners, Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland, are to appear in Red Deer provincial court on May 28.

“Under the terms and conditions of the zoo’s permit, the charges are directly related to the alleged failure of the park to notify the provincial government prior to the bear leaving the zoo,” said a statement from the province late Monday.

One count is related to the bear being taken through the drive-thru for ice cream, while the other pertains to the bear leaving the facility on other occasions in 2017.

The charges were laid under Section 12(3) of the Wildlife Act, which states a person must not contravene the terms or conditions of a licence or permit.

The zoo’s permit, which is regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks, has been revised to impose new conditions.

Those include requiring the zoo to provide more details when asking to transport a controlled animal or wildlife and to keep those animals in a cage, crate or kennel when in a vehicle.

It also says the zoo cannot put any animals on display outside the facility without prior permission from the province nor can it allow any member of the public to have physical contact with animals such as monkeys, cougars, wolves or bears.

Related: Cougar kitten gets new lease on life at Greater Vancouver Zoo

Related: Revelstoke Petting Zoo owner charged with 24 counts of animal cruelty

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Melodic summer evenings live on in the Shuswap

WOW has grown from a small gathering to a weekly festival that attracts from 500 to 1,000 people

Cooler temps today, but no rain in forecast until August

Environment Canada does not have good news when it comes to fighting fires in the Central Okanagan.

UPDATED: Mount Eneas fire grows to 1,374 hectares

Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen issues evac alerts for properties in Area F.

Bluegrass band back by demand

Lil Smokies perform unique blend of bluegrass roots with the sheer raw energy of a rock band

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Mount Conkle fire near Summerland 90 per cent guarded

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access which have contributed to the success

Wildfires near Vernon extinguished

BX, Dee Lake and Irish Creek fires all out

Summerland winery saved from wildfire

Okanagan Crush Pad is thanking firefighters for saving the Summerland vineyard

What’s happening this weekend

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

UPDATED: Fire on Kelowna’s Knox Mountain quickly knocked down

City fire crews responded to report of smoke at the top of the hill Friday afternoon.

Riders come hot out of the gate in Pritchard rodeo

A wild weekend on horseback caught on camera

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

Most Read