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Charges possible for B.C. family caught hand-feeding black bears

Conservation officers aim to meet with bear-feeding family
Conservation officers went to a West Vancouver home Tuesday after Global News showed viewers some troubling video of residents feeding bears. Catherine Urquhart reports.

Conservation officers went to a West Vancouver home on Tuesday, hoping to speak to the residents.

The family living at the home is at the centre of an investigation after videos surfaced on social media showing two young girls feeding two bear cubs and a sow from the open doors and windows of their home.

They appear to be offering the animals things like crackers and French fries, and are even hand-feeding them through a window.

READ MORE: Outrage over video showing North Shore family feeding black bears

The posts date back at least a year. The latest post is from July 10.

The family was either not home or did not answer the door Tuesday, but conservation officers say they are taking the situation very seriously.

“There certainly could be charges under the Wildlife Act,” conservation officer Lonnie Schoenthal told Global News. “Up to $25,000 or six months imprisonment.”

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WATCH: Video captures B.C. family hand-feeding black bears

Video captures B.C. family hand-feeding black bears
Video captures B.C. family hand-feeding black bears

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officers angry after video surfaces showing man hand-feeding bear

Every year, between 200 and 400 black bears are put down in B.C. after becoming habituated to human food or garbage and becoming a safety hazard.

“If it becomes habituated and starts getting food rewards in communities, then it’s going to stop eating its natural food sources and rely on this and become a public safety threat, and therefore we may have to put that animal down,” Schoenthal said.

Conservation officers say they will be back to the home as they continue their investigation.

-With files from Catherine Urquhart and Jon Azpiri