A Whistler, B.C., lady was fined $60,000 for feeding bears three years in the past that she thought she was serving to, based on a just lately launched court docket ruling within the case.
Zuzana Stevikova was handed the sentence final month after pleading responsible to 2 counts beneath the Wildlife Act for repeatedly feeding black bears between June and August of 2018 — an motion that resulted within the B.C. Conservation Officer Service killing a mom bear and two cubs who had develop into habituated to human meals.
Witnesses recalled seeing as much as 5 bears without delay at Stevikova’s luxurious Kadenwood house, and reported listening to her addressing one bear by the title of “Lilly.”
Stevikova was discovered to have purchased bulk produce to feed the bears, together with as much as 10 circumstances of apples, 50 kilos of carrots and pears, and as much as 15 dozen eggs, all on a weekly foundation.
Whistler lady handed $60,000 in fines for often feeding bears
“(She) informed one witness she was feeding the bears and felt that they wanted assist, as they appeared skinny and he or she was involved for his or her welfare and informed one other that she was feeding the bears so that folks in Whistler wouldn’t complain about them and the conservation officers wouldn’t kill them,” based on the ruling by B.C. Provincial Court docket choose Lyndsay Smith.
“She wished to determine what she might or ought to do. Somewhat than contact provincial wildlife assets for info on this regard, she spoke with an ‘professional.’”
The court docket heard that Stevikova and her partner had donated practically $20,000 to animal charities since 2015 and that she was a vegan “having altered her food regimen to comport together with her views of the worth of animals.”
Choose Smith dominated that Stevikova’s good intentions didn’t mitigate her culpability within the case, significantly on condition that messaging round bear security and wildlife laws was extensively distributed in Whistler.
Stevikova had, as an alternative, “deliberately sidestepped the province’s wildlife administration scheme,” Smith discovered.
“The bears weren’t hers and her good intentions fly within the face of widespread information of customers of this province’s wilderness: You don’t miss meals or different attractants for bears or different harmful wildlife,” Smith wrote.
Whistler locals discover extra shut encounters with bears
“Right here, there was precise hurt to the surroundings, if such a phrase can correctly seize the dying of a feminine grownup bear and her two cubs.”
That discovering was mirrored within the $60,000 fines, which considerably exceeded Crown and defence’s joint submission of a $10,500 penalty.
The utmost mixed penalty obtainable for the 2 counts Stevikova pleaded responsible to was $150,000 and 18 months in jail.
“That to me was unimaginable, for the choose to search out the dying of three animals was unimaginable, for the choose to search out that the dying of three animals was an aggravating issue,” animal legislation lawyer Rebeka Breder informed International Information.
“We can’t feed wildlife. It would finally end result of their dying. And for those who even attempt to feed them and entice them, you may be uncovered to a really hefty high-quality.”
All however $1,000 of the fines shall be directed to the Habitat Conservation Basis.
Prices in opposition to Stevikova’s associate, Oliver Dugan, had been stayed.
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