Parks Canada has released footage of a visitor feeding a black bear along Highway 93 in an effort to educate visitors about the dangers of feeding wildlife in the national parks.

Feeding the wildlife is not permitted in the national parks and officials say they have seen an increase in the Banff, Yoho and Kootenay areas.

Parks Canada staff run patrols and manage wildlife jams along secondary roads like the Bow Valley and Icefields Parkways but officials say they need the public’s help to reduce the occurrence of illegal feeding.

Officials say most people try to keep themselves and others safe when they spot an animal feeding or travelling near the roadside but there are still some people who ignore the rules.

A visitor was caught on camera feeding a black bear in the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park last year and charges were laid against the individual. The offender pleaded guilty in court in June 2014 and was issued a $1000 fine.

Officials have released video of the incident in an effort to educate the public and are asking people to help report feeding incidents.

If you see someone feeding wildlife in the national parks:

  • Record their licence plate
  • Take video or photos of the incident if it is safe to do so
  • Report the incident to 1-888-WARDENS (927-3367) as soon as possible.

Parks Canada staff work year round to educate visitors and motorists about wildlife best practices and say the rules and regulations are in place to provide visitors the best experience and to ensure the safety of people and wildlife.

For more information on wildlife safety and conservation, click HERE.