Blue River Safari has been fined $35,000 for baiting bears — the largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife. The fine delivered on Nov. 25 is a precedent-setting case for British Columbia Conservation Officer Services. Photo by Bruce Warrington

B.C. tour company fined $35K for baiting bears with peanut butter, meatballs

Case marks largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife

A wildlife tour company near Clearwater has been handed a $35,000 fine for baiting bears, making the largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife.

According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, the fine delivered on Nov. 25 against Blue River Safari is a precedent-setting case for the organization.

Siblings Russell and Debra Critchlow were each ordered to pay $17,400 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and were then fined an extra $200.

BCCOS began investigating in August 2017 after receiving a complaint the wildlife tour company had been baiting bears to increase sighting opportunities for clients.

READ MORE: Two cases of feeding bears being investigated in B.C.

Officers used electronic surveillance during the investigation and provincial court in Clearwater heard the company used cranberries, peanut butter and meatballs to attract the bears.

BCCOS noted such practices by tour companies are unlawful and make other companies within the legitimate industry look bad.

Blue River Safari was also ordered to develop an anti-bear baiting policy as well as undergo wildlife attractant inspections.

“Wildlife tour operators have a responsibility to ensure they conduct business in a lawful manner that is safe for clients, staff and the public,” BCCOS said.

“The primary concern of the COS is public safety. 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 an extraordinary public safety risk, BCCOS added, noting it hopes the large fine will deter any other would-be operators from a similar incident.

Anyone with information about feeding or placing attractants for dangerous wildlife is asked to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-RAPP.



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read