Province charges Innisfail’s Discovery Wildlife Park after ice-cream-eating bear video

A video showed a one-year-old captive Kodiak bear being hand-fed 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.

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.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Whispering Pines raises $40,000 for STARS

The golf and country resort held its fifth annual STARS Charity Golf Tournament this past weekend

Man dies in vehicle rollover west of Red Deer

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

UPDATED: Lee seeks UCP nomination in Red Deer

Eyes Red Deer-North constituency

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Red Deer city council considers new business licence bylaw

All businesses operating in the City of Red Deer will require a… Continue reading

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month