ALBERTA, CANADA (RNN) – Canadian zoo officials say they made a mistake and plan to plead guilty to two charges after a young bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream, according to CTV News.
A video, posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, Alberta, showed a 1-year-old captive Kodiak bear named Berkeley leaning out of a truck’s window and being hand-fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.
Officials investigated, and zoo owners Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland now face two charges under the province’s Wildlife Act.
One count is related to the bear being taken through the drive-thru for ice cream, while the other stems from the bear leaving the facility on other occasions in 2017.
Bos says they made a mistake and plan to plead guilty on May 28 when they appear in court.
"What we got charged for under the act was that we failed to notify them that we were going to do those things," he told CTV. "We were busy. We made a mistake, and we didn't email them and tell them."
According to the Guardian, the zoo said the drive-thru run posed no danger to the public because it had taken place before the Dairy Queen had opened for the day and that the bear had been secured by a chain throughout the outing.
Still, Bos says he’s happy to hear of the charges because they show "how strictly regulated the zoo industry is in the province."
The zoo’s permit has been revised to impose new conditions, including requiring the zoo to provide more details when asking to transport animals and to keep them in a cage, crate or kennel when in a vehicle.
It also says the zoo can’t put any animals on display outside the facility without prior permission nor can it allow any member of the public to have physical contact with a variety of wild animals.
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