Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen
Canadian cops put animal road trips on ice after owners 'forget' to mention their plan
Canadian law enforcement is bearing down on a pair of zoo owners whose wild trip to the local Dairy Queen wasn't quite the Kodiak moment they'd hoped for.
Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland, who own the the Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, Alberta, have been charged under the Wildlife Act after they took a one-year-old bear to an ice cream drive-thru and allowed staff to feed it.
The duo said they "forgot" to tell the authorities that they were planning to take Berkley the Kodiak bear for the jaunt, which – according to the Canadian press – they proceeded to film and post on social media.
The video captured the bear being hand-fed an ice cream cone from the front seat of one of the zoo's trucks, but was later removed after public outcry.
Although it would seem like the pair were skating on thin ice taking a bear out in the front seat of a car and letting people interact with it, the duo have instead been charged for failing to alert the authorities to the road trip.
Under the terms and conditions of their permit, they have to notify the provincial government before a bear leaves the zoo.
"We made a mistake. I'm embarrassed about it," Bos is quoted as saying in The Guardian. "Every time we take an animal off the property, we're supposed to notify Fish and Wildlife, send them an email, and we forgot to do that."
However, the zoo's permit has now been revised in a way that closes this ice-cream loophole.
It will now say that animals transported must be kept in a crate, cage or kennel, that they can't be on display outside the zoo without prior permission and that members of the public can't have physical contact with animals like bears. ®