Someone Took This Bear to a Drive-Thru Dairy Queen for Ice Cream
Now the wildlife park responsible is under investigation.
Image via Discovery Wildlife Park/Facebook
This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
A video of staff at a zoo in Alberta, Canada, taking a bear through a Dairy Queen drive-thru for a nice ice cream cone has prompted the government to investigate.
The bear is a Kodiak named Berkeley who lives at Discovery Wildlife Park in southern Alberta. It was her first birthday a few days ago, so she got a chance to pick out her favorite ice cream for a cake, an occasion the zoo decided to film. The video shows Berkeley sticking her head out of a truck while a man feeds her from the drive-thru window.
Alberta Environment and Parks and the Fish and Wildlife enforcement branch confirmed its investigation to the Canadian Press this morning with a spokesman calling the incident “disturbing.” The zoo has since taken down the video, but not before it was reviewed by an expert at VICE—me, an Albertan.
At first glance, the ice cream cake seems like a joke, but you must remember that these are a bunch of people who took a bear through a drive-thru—they obviously don’t fuck around. So it’s not that huge of a shock that there exists another video—this time posted by the Innisfail Dairy Queen—showing Discovery Wildlife Park feeding the bear a full ice cream cake. In the video, a Discovery Wildlife Park trainer, Serena Bos, feeds the bear the cake while taking questions on Facebook Live, including one about what else they feed the animal.
“Peanuts are Berkeley’s favorite treat on a daily basis. [They have] high protein, which is important,” Bos says in the video. “Occasionally, about once a month since we found out she likes it, she really enjoys [Kraft mac and cheese].”
“I’m sure many of you out there have one year olds that really like [Kraft] too.”
This video has also been removed.
The bear has never known the wild, being born in captivity to captive parents. The Canadian Press spoke to a bear expert who, among others, called the video irresponsible and said that ice cream cake is "not part of their natural diet nor is it natural for a bear to be eating an ice cream cake in the middle of winter when they should be sleeping."
"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," Bear Safety & More’s Kim Titchener told CP.
"We need to conserve and protect them, and respect them," she said.
Discovery Wildlife Park pushed back on the idea that their video is reckless by saying that the Dairy Queen was closed when they brought a bear in a truck through it. Therefore, a park rep said, there was no threat to the public. In the video, Bos does say that Berkley isn’t a normal bear and that it’s a bad idea to try to feed one in the wild.
The Canadian Press also found that in 2015, Discovery Wildlife Park was found to have more than 50 violations after being investigated by Zoocheck Canada. These violations include having a supervised “kiss a grizzly” attraction which “pose[s] a significant risk to the public,” along with failing to provide a proper containment for some of its animals.
Discovery Wildlife Park has not responded to VICE’s request for comment, but this story will updated it if it does. Nevertheless, we folks here at VICE Canada would, even though we’re not exactly bear experts, advise against feeding bears tasty frozen treats.
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