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

Russell Jonathon George Gurney was last seen in Chilliwack in mid-December. (RCMP photo)
RCMP ask for help to find missing Abbotsford man last seen in Chilliwack

Police and family are concerned for the well-being of Russell Jonathon George Gurney

The Harrison Hot Springs village office, as seen from the back. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Harrison village staff to get additional office space

The village has agreed to spend up to $75,000 of the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant on a new portable

Harrison Hot Springs kindergarten students held a peaceful protest Monday (Jan. 18) to end separated recess. The protest was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and his lessons of non-violent action. Check out page XX for the whole story. (Dustin Neufeld/Contributed)
PHOTOS: Harrison students launch peaceful protest against playground division for MLK day

The kindergarten students negotiated with the school principal to enable recess on both playgrounds

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

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

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

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Most Read