YouTube user David de Meulles posted a video (below) on Nov. 13 of a polar bear petting a dog in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
While the video, filmed on Brian Ladoon's property, went viral with more than one million views, a Manitoba Sustainable Development spokesperson told CBC News the sad truth on Nov. 17:
Conservation officers had to immobilize a bear in that area last week and move it to the holding facility because it killed one of his dogs. A mother and cub were also removed because there were allegations the bears were being fed and the females' [behavior] was becoming a concern.
Ladoon said one of nine polar bears ate one of his dogs at his Mile 5 Dog Sanctuary.
"That was the only day we didn't feed the f******* bears, the only night we didn't put anything out," Ladoon recalled.
The Manitoba Sustainable Development spokesperson said that any "failure to cease the action of feeding/baiting polar bears will result in further enforcement action," and, "The protection of polar bears is of utmost importance and interfering with their natural [behavior] will not be tolerated."
According to Ladoon, he does take "care of bears," and has been "charged with everything ... under the book" regarding his pooches.
University of Alberta professor Ian Stirling told CBC News:
The dog was chained up and they're totally vulnerable. Inuit [hunters] over the years in the high Arctic have told me that if you want a dog to act as a guard dog, you have to leave it off a chain. Because if it's on a chain it knows it's vulnerable and it won't bark.
Stirling insisted friendly scenes between polar bears and dogs is artificial, and would not normally happen.
"Any situation that brings bears in to feed in an unnatural situation in association with human beings, I think, should not take place at all," Stirling stated.
"It is unnatural? No. It's a phenomenon," Ladoon insisted.
Meulles slammed the media on his YouTube page:
For all the people wondering. This dog and bear are both alive. This bear was by a dog sanctuary located 15kms out of town. There is over 50 dogs out there. They are tied up so they cant run all over the land. These are the last dogs of there bred and are being looked after by brian ladoon in churchill manitoba.
Dont let media fool you. Manitoba conservation has also checked this area alot. And have never said its animal cruelty. These dogs are very happy. You can even pet them. Brian goes out and feeds the dogs everyday. He is very passionate about what he does. Stop seeing the negative.