A private zoo in central Alberta has been charged after a bear from the facility was taken through a Dairy Queen drive-thru in a pickup truck and fed ice cream through the vehicle’s window.
A video of the unusual feeding was posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, Alta. It showed a one-year-old captive Kodiak bear named Berkley leaning out of a truck’s window and being hand fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.
The video includes information about how well bears can smell and advises viewers not to get out of their vehicles to take photos of wild bears. A trainer at Discovery Wildlife Park said there was no safety concern at the Dairy Queen because the bear was on a chain in the truck the entire time.
Provincial officials began investigating the initial video — along with the terms of the zoo’s permit, which is regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks — earlier this year.
Wildlife officers have now charged the zoo with one offence relating to the bear being taken for ice cream, and another that stems from the bear leaving the facility on other occasions in 2017 without the province being notified. Discovery Wildlife Park owners Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland are scheduled to appear in provincial court in Red Deer, Alta., on May 28.