A Central Alberta zoo must pay $500 in fines after taking a bear for ice cream at a drive-thru.
A video posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail showed a one-year-old captive bear named Berkley leaning out a truck’s window and being hand-fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.
Officials with the province investigated and charged the zoo with two counts of violating a licence or permit under the Wildlife Act.
One count stems from the bear being taken for ice cream, while the other relates to an employee who brought an orphaned bear cub home to foster in 2017.
The zoo’s owners pleaded guilty and the business was fined $250 for each of the charges.
Co-owner Doug Bos told court they were embarrassed about the charges, but he thanked Alberta Fish and Wildlife for doing its job.
Outside court, he said they made a mistake.
“I’m happy that Fish and Wildlife did this because it proves that there are strict rules and regulations to operating a zoo in Alberta and, when you make a mistake, you have to pay for it,” he said.
Bos said they’ve made changes to ensure they don’t take the bear off site without permission again.