News > Weird and Wild

Plea Agreement for Man Who Fed Wild Bears

Charlie Vandergaw pleads guilty to eight counts of illegally feeding game.


As reported by, a 71-year-old Alaskan man’s passion for bears has lead to criminal charges. Charlie Vandergaw has pled guilty to eight counts of illegally feeding game. Prosecutors have dismissed another 12 counts against the man, all for feeding dog kibble and cookies to the wild bears that frequented his remote cabin.

Under a plea agreement, Vandergaw, who appeared in an Animal Planet documentary entitled “Stranger Among Bears,” could face up to 180 days of suspended jail time, and fines up to $70,000. Footage from the documentary showed the man was very close with several of the bears, scratching the belly of one and feeding another a cookie.

But according to game officials, feeding bears can be a danger to humans.

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