Wojtek (1942–1963; Polish pronunciation: [ˈvɔjtɛk]) usually spelled Voytek in England, was a Syrian brown bear cub adopted by soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped move ammunition. The name "Wojtek" or "Wojciech" is an old Slavic name and derived from two words: "woj" (the stem of "wojownik", warrior, and "wojna", war); and "ciech", enjoyment. Thus the name has two meanings: "he who enjoys war" or "smiling warrior".
Rick Hildebrand, the superintendent of B.C.'s conservation service, confirmed [Allen] Piche and his partner will be allowed to continue to feed the bears, because if the animals go hungry, they might become a danger to the public.
"If we cut them off cold turkey, then we are concerned about sudden rash change of behavior," Hildebrand said. "It's kind of allowing them to simulate natural behaviour as much as possible so they can go to den and not cause any public safety issues."
After the bears come out of hibernation in the spring, they will have to fend for themselves, said Hildebrand.
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