(File Photo)

Vancouver Island’s MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre is reminding residents to avoid feeding wild animals after the rehabilitation facility received multiple reports of people feeding a black bear near Kennedy Lake.

According to MARS, with road construction appearing along the Pacific Rim Highway (Highway 4), islanders have been seen feeding a local black bear in the Kennedy Lake area while stuck in traffic.

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While black bears may appear harmless, the rescue centre is reminding residents that feeding any wildlife can pose a danger to both humans and animals.

“A Black Bear may look safe, but it is a wild animal,” said MARS in a Facebook post. “The person feeding the bear may be at risk of an attack.”

“Feeding the bear conditions it to accept food from people, so other people are at risk of an attack when they refuse food to the bear, and feeding the bear is putting the bear at high risk of having to be euthanized because it’s become a problem bear or it has attacked someone.”

“Please treat wild animals with due respect.”

Victoria Buzz has reached out to MARS for further details.