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North Vancouver man charged with feeding dangerous wildlife

After being charged, the man doesn’t deny he fed wildlife in the woods, but he says he did nothing wrong.
The BC Conservation Officer Service has shared this image of one of the bears allegedly fed by North Vancouver man in Klee Wyck Park in April and May, 2022. | BC COS

Almost 18 months after B.C. Conservation Officer Service went public with an investigation into a North Vancouver man on allegations of feeding bears and coyotes in a public park, he has been charged under B.C.’s Wildlife Act.

Conservation officers held a press conference in May of 2022, announcing that a North Vancouver man was facing charges after being caught in the act of leaving food out in a West Vancouver park.

On Sept. 29, the Crown swore two charges against 57-year-old Kenneth Amaral – one count of intentionally feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife and one count of placing an attractant that could attract dangerous wildlife.

In an interview, however, Amaral said he did nothing wrong and he intends to plead not guilty.

Amaral said he has been feeding wildlife for his entire life and he started leaving food out near his favourite fishing spot outside Klee Wyck Park years ago after his neighbours complained about him feeding seagulls around their apartment.

Amaral said he wasn’t caught in the act and he voluntarily told the investigating conservation officers what he had been doing.

The charges do not reflect his intentions, he said. The animals eating the food he left out were certainly not dangerous, he said.

“It was mostly for the birds and raccoons and skunks. I never seen a bear. I never seen coyotes,” he said. “I was not directly or intentionally feeding anything specifically. I was just leaving it there and whatever took it, took it.”

Amaral said a neighbour near the park confronted him not long before his arrest, blaming him for bears and coyotes showing up, which he rejected.

“I said, ‘You live in the woods. Obviously, if they’re here, they’re here. I didn’t attract them. They were here from the beginning,” he said.

There have been several cases of people going to court for feeding bears in recent years, including a Whistler woman who was fined $10,500 and a West Vancouver man who was fined $5,000. In 2012, a Langley man was fined $6,000 after he was caught deliberately feeding bears as means to keep them as guards for his illegal cannabis grow-op.

Amaral said his case was nothing like those.

“Obviously, I don’t agree with what they’re doing. They’re directly feeding bears. I mean, that’s ridiculous,” he said. “I was just putting food down for whatever would take it.”

Amaral is due in court on Oct. 24.

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