Two men feed a black bear by hand and pay the price; video

A video on social media showing two unidentified men feeding a black bear what appears to be rice cakes sparked public outrage and an investigation by wildlife officials in Canada.

The incident occurred in April at the side of Highway 4 near Tofino on Vancouver Island where one of the men can be seen brazenly reaching out to the black bear with the food in his hand and the bear readily taking it.

A fed bear is a dead bear is the common refrain used to inform the public about why it is bad to feed bears.

"It is illegal to feed dangerous wildlife because it's extremely dangerous for both the public and that bear," Port Alberni conservation officer Daniel Eichstadter told CTV News Vancouver in May. "It may expect food from somebody else who stops and injure somebody that way.

"It's putting everybody and that animal at risk and the best thing to do is show that animal some respect and give it some space. View it from afar and don't put other people and that animal at risk."

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CTV News reported Thursday that tips streamed into the conservation office, eventually leading officers to the two men, who remained unidentified.

The men were charged with intentionally feeding dangerous wildlife under the BC Wildlife Act. Both paid the price for their misdeed. Each were fined $345.

BC Conservation Officer Daniel Eichstadter told CTV News that officers monitoring the area where the incident happened and have noticed some bears coming to the edge of the highway looking for food, adding that two bears were killed by vehicles in that same area.

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