Photos reveal graphic reality behind BC’s grizzly bear trophy hunt

Photo credit: Sam Edmonds/Wildlife Defence League

Photo credit: Sam Edmonds/Wildlife Defence League

In support of conservationists, independent scientists and 91% of B.C. residents’ calls on the provincial government to end the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, Wildlife Defence League (WDL) took to the West Kootenays to document and expose the province’s controversial trophy hunt.

While patrolling an area frequented by trophy hunters, WDL crew encountered a grizzly bear trophy hunter with a fresh kill displayed in the open of the back of a white pick-up truck. (See attached images.) Further up the road in an area frequented by hikers and tourists, was the kill site. The bear, gunned down in the middle of the road, left blood-stained paw prints and claw marks dug into the dirt, as it ran for its life.

“The B.C. Liberals insist the grizzly bear trophy hunt can co-exist with B.C. tourism,” said Tommy Knowles, Campaigns Director for Wildlife Defence League. “I struggle to imagine them using photos of a blood-stained hiking route, or open pick-up trucks with the hide, head and paws of a grizzly bear in plain view in their next ‘Supernatural B.C.’ marketing campaign.”

Despite the fact that 91% of British Columbians are against the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, the B.C. Liberal government continues to allow this unsustainable, unethical and inhumane “sport” to continue. The province’s grizzly population numbers are a point of debate and a recent study suggests they are being over-hunted in the province, a combination that threatens to wipe out this iconic and ecologically-significant species. Furthermore, a recent study by Stanford University and the Centre for Responsible Tourism suggests bear viewing generates 12 times more in visitor spending than trophy hunting does. It also suggests that the revenue generated by fees and licenses associated with the trophy hunting of grizzly bears fails to cover the cost of the province’s management of the hunt. Taxpayers in the province are effectively subsidizing a hunt that the majority of them disagree with.

“B.C.’s next premier needs to be a strong advocate for local economies and ethical, effective wildlife management,” said Knowles. “We urge all British Columbians to call or email their current MLAs to tell them they will be voting for the party that commits to ending the trophy hunting of grizzly bears once and for all.”

WDL is calling on the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP to publicly state that they oppose the grizzly bear trophy hunt and move to introduce a province-wide ban in advance of B.C.’s 2017 general election. 

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