Zoo Charged For Taking Bear Out For Delicious Ice Cream

As we reported in January, Berkley, a Kodiak bear at the Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, Alberta, had about the best day a bear could ever have a few months back. A now-deleted video shows Berkley in a Dairy Queen drive-thru, being hand-fed ice cream by a very brave employee. A second also-deleted photo showed the lucky bear licking the frosting off of an ice cream cake.

Turns out, that is not standard bear-keeping practice. The Guardian reports that the private zoo now faces charges for taking Berkley out for such a special treat. While we applaud such benevolent bear-keeping, we also see where this all could have gone horribly wrong, even though "the zoo said the drive-thru run had posed no danger to the public, as it had taken place before the Dairy Queen had opened for the day and that the bear had been secured by a chain throughout the entire outing." But what kind of chain. Y'know?

Apparently, Canadian wildlife officials agree with us, so that the Alberta zoo is now facing two charges. Says Alberta Fish And Wildlife: "Under the terms and conditions of the zoo's permit, the charges are directly related to the alleged failure of the park to notify the provincial government prior to the bear leaving the zoo." One charge is the ice cream outing, while another is related to when Berkley was just a cub, and "the zoo allegedly failed to inform officials the seven-pound bear was being taken home nightly so that she could be bottle-fed." Awww, so cute. How could they get charged for that?

Zoo owner/dream job holder Doug Bos "said he planned to plead guilty to the charges, noting that this was the first time in the zoo's 28-year history that it was facing such charges." Apparently, if the zoo had told Fish And Wildlife, the outing would have been okay? Actually, we think it more than likely that Fish And Wildlife would have said something like, "Nice idea, but no."