Alberta: icecream bear publicity stunt not going over well
Its pretty safe to assume that never before has a bear ever been taken through a drive through for a treat, however that said this is why assuming anything is a bad idea because indeed, a bear has been taken through a drive through and there is camera footage to prove it.
Footage recently released shows a bear being taken through the drive through of a Dairy Queen in Alberta and the restaurant owner feeding her icecream.
The bear in question, a young lady owned by Discovery Wildlife Park goes by the name of Berkley.
“We’ve got Berkley in the drive-thru testing out some ice cream so she can pick out her birthday cake,” says a man identified as Mark in the video. “We’ve
added some peanuts to this batch and she seems to like it — so I think we’ve got a winner here.”
Obviously, taking a bear for a car ride is not the smartest idea that this Mark fella could’ve come up with, and his antics have not gone over well.
“Public safety is a top priority for our government,” said spokesman Brendan Cox. “The content of the video in question is disturbing and both Environment and Parks, and the Fish and Wildlife enforcement branch are actively investigating this incident.
“The involvement of Discovery Wildlife Park in this matter is also subject to investigation. If non compliance is found, action will be taken.”
Bear is harmless
Serena Bos, is a bear trainer at the zoo and says that there was no concern when it came to safety because the bear was chained up inside the truck at all times.
“There was never any public present. It was done long before the Dairy Queen even opened,” she said. “Berkley is a captive bear, so not a wild bear in any way.”
The owner of the Dairy Queen in question, Mark Kemball, stated that he felt no concern over his own safety as he fed the bear.
“This bear is as tame as any animal I have ever seen,” he said. “She is as gentle as can be. She has never been in the wild.”
Bear experts who have seen the video are voicing their own concerns when it comes to the video.
“It’s a challenge every day out there in our parks and protected areas to try to teach people who are visiting these places or live here in Alberta that we don’t feed wildlife, that we don’t feed bears,” said Kim Titchener, who runs a business called Bear Safety & More.
“We need to conserve and protect them, and respect them.”
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca