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

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

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Community mental health workers are in high demand, and a new program at Selkirk College will provide opportunities in this field. File Photo
Selkirk College to train community mental health workers

Twelve students will complete two courses enabling them to work in health and human services

Dr. Cori Lausen, bat specialist, has questions about logging in an unusual bat habitat near Beasley. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo biologist questions logging at unique West Kootenay bat site

Dr. Cori Lausen, a bat specialist, studies a population of bats above Beasley

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Most Read