B.C. Liberals allow grizzly bear hunt

By Abby Wiseman [Environmental Bureau Chief]

Spring is in the air. Flowers are blossoming and the chirping of birds is everywhere.

Now let’s kill some bears.

Well at least that’s what the B.C. Government thinks spring is all about.

Every year, trophy hunters are allowed to kill bears in northern B.C. for sport.

According to the B.C. Government in a statement called “Protecting B.C.’s Grizzly population,” the Grizzly bear population can be sustained and still allow for nine per cent of bears to be hunted. Although they said only six per cent usually are.

They haven’t said anything about the black bear population.

The David Suzuki Foundation has sent out a letter frowning on the B.C. Government for allowing this practice to continue.

“The results are devastating. In the 30 years that the government has kept records, close to 11,000 grizzly bears have been killed in B.C., 88 per cent of them by sport hunters,” said the Foundation.

The only bears not allowed to be killed are the white Spirit Bears or Kermode bears, which were represented at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Remember the giant lit up bear? That was the Spirit Bear.

It seems that the bear hunt is about as popular to Canadians as the seal hunt; a McAllister poll said that 79 per cent of Canadians oppose the hunt. When it comes to questionable practices it’s best to follow the money, and according to the Government the hunt generates $120 million a year.

The David Suzuki Foundation and Dean Wyatt of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association said it’s unnecessary for bears to be killed since tourists will pay a lot of money just to photograph wild bears.

Each bear killed is one less bear that tourists will pay top dollar to photograph,” said Wyatt, “Only a total ban on trophy hunting will ensure that bear populations can support the high-end viewing operations that add valuable income to coastal communities.”

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