Woman fined $60,000 for feeding bears in ‘precedent-setting’ case

A resident of Whistler, Canada, has been fined $60,000 for attracting and feeding bears throughout the 2018 summer.

The penalty levied against Zuzana Stevikova, who was sentenced last week in North Vancouver Provincial Court, is the highest imposed under the Wildlife Act in British Columbia.

Three bears that routinely visited the area were euthanized because they had become habituated as a result of illegal feeding and posed a safety threat.

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According to a Conservation Officer Services news release, the agency launched an investigation in July 2018 after receiving an anonymous tip. Weekly purchases by Stevikova included up to 10 cases of apples, 50 pounds of carrots and 15 cases of eggs, according to the COS.

Visiting black bears exhibited no fear of humans and had become so conditioned to non-natural food that they were deemed ineligible for rehabilitation or relocation.

“The primary concern of the COS is public safety,” COS Sgt. Simon Gravel stated in the news release. “Illegally feeding or placing attractants to lure dangerous wildlife, such as bears, is an extremely dangerous activity. Once bears learn to associate humans with food, it creates a public safety risk.”

Because of the substantial penalty – most of the $60,000 will benefit the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation – the case was described as “precedent setting.”

–Black bear images are generic

Story originally appeared on For The Win