wildlife

One year after the world witnessed the reality of the grizzly bear trophy hunt

One year ago, Wildlife Defence League shared a youtube video of a grizzly bear being shot multiple times and killed by hunters. The video provided a glimpse into the hidden world of trophy hunting - the ego and lack of ethics was on full display as the men in the video joke and celebrate while taking several shots at the bear, who runs for his life, but tumbles down a snowy mountainside, leaving a trail of blood behind him before finally succumbing to his injuries. “Well it’s less places we got to carry him,” one hunter says while the other laughs.

The public was shocked to witness the brutal reality of trophy hunting first-hand and the video went viral as a result, reaching 16 million people, being viewed over 4.5 million times and shared by over 100,000 people. It drew local, national and international media attention, including The Globe and Mail which ran a story demanding that Premier Christy Clark watch the video and provide justification for a hunt so widely opposed. Journalists even compared the story and the public outrage that resulted to the killing of Cecil the lion. The video also led the President of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, Scott Ellis, to comment, admitting that the negative publicity the video generated likely hurt the reputation of guide outfitters everywhere.

One year later, opposition to the trophy hunt has only continued to grow - with a recent poll indicating 91% of British Columbians oppose the practice. One year later, the story of this trophy hunted bear is more relevant than ever. With a provincial election set for May 2017, candidates will be asking constituents to identify their priorities in the coming months and we must take this opportunity to make ending the grizzly bear trophy hunt one of them. One year later, we cannot forget this bear and his tragic end. Join us in seeking justice for this bear, along with every other who has fallen victim to human greed and ego. 

Take Action:

  • Contact your MLA, Premier Christy Clark (PREMIER@gov.bc.ca) & Leader of the Official Opposition/BC New Democrats John Horgan (john.horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca) and tell them you will be voting for the party that commits to ending the trophy hunting of grizzly bears once and for all. Include this bear’s story in your email - let them know you have not forgotten about him and the many others targeted by trophy hunters and neither should they.
  • Join our email list to stay updated on our #TrophyFreeBC campaign & for actions you can take as we approach the May 2017 election. 
  • Join the conversation online by using the #trophyfreebc hashtag on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram to share your call to end the trophy hunt and to help raise awareness.

BC's fall trophy hunt has begun & May 9th, 2017 is our opportunity to end it

Photo: Bec Wonders

Photo: Bec Wonders

September 1st marks a dark day in British Columbia - the start of the province’s controversial fall grizzly bear hunt in many areas of the province. This widely opposed slaughter sees greed-driven trophy hunters setting out into BC’s wild places every spring and fall in search of a bear they can shoot and kill for nothing more than a trophy - a head to put on the wall, a rug for their floor and paws to prove their supposed prowess.

We have the BC Liberal government to thank for the continuation of this archaic and senseless slaughter. In 2001, the NDP government announced a three-year moratorium on grizzly bear hunting in BC. Sadly, this victory was short-lived. When the Liberals came into office a few months later, that moratorium was lifted and grizzlies were once again in the sights of sport hunters. Today, this Liberal Party legacy continues despite the lack of social license, science, economics and ethics.

The BC Liberals argue the hunt is sustainable, yet the very science behind this hunt is questioned by independent scientists, who state the province’s grizzly population numbers on which hunt quotas are based are flawed and overinflated. It’s also troubling to see the hunt described as sustainable given that a study published earlier this year by a government scientist found that a hunted population in the South Rockies has declined by about 40% between 2006-2013, under the government’s watchful eye.

Economically, there is the logical argument that a live bear is worth more to the province than a dead one - that same bear can be “shot” with a tourist’s camera, time and time again. Meanwhile, it’s been suggested that the revenue generated by grizzly trophy hunting fees and licences fails to even cover the province's management costs for the hunt, making it a poor economic decision as well.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is whether or not the practice of killing for sport aligns with our values as British Columbians. Polling over the years has reflected clear opposition to the trophy hunt, with the latest indicating that 91% of British Columbians, both rural and urban dwelling, condemn the practice.

This iconic species, the same one featured in the province’s “Super, Natural” tourism ads, has been the victim of government inaction for far too long. BC's fall trophy hunt has begun. May 9th, 2017 is our opportunity to end it. Our next premier needs to be a strong advocate for local economies and ethical, effective wildlife management.

TAKE ACTION:

We urge all British Columbians to contact their current MLAs, Premier Christy Clark (PREMIER@gov.bc.ca) & Leader of the Official Opposition/BC New Democrats John Horgan (john.horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca) to tell them they will be voting for the party that commits to ending the trophy hunting of grizzly bears once and for all.

Learn more & support our work to end the trophy hunt!