I must admit, I was quite pleased to see a large part of the Wahlbran area was recently protected as a refuge for the Kermode bear, which some people refer to as a “spirit bear”.
However, as I am not a big fan of Christy Clark or her government, I can’t help being a little suspicious that this is to divert attention away from the issuing of an increased number of permits for the grizzly bear hunt, which 93 per cent of British Columbians want to see ended.
By any reasonable, modern standards, this hunt has got to be one of the most cruel and anachronistic activities still allowed. I know some hunters like to use the phrase “humane kill”, but this is a totally inappropriate use of a word. My Thesaurus gives synonyms for humane such as compassionate, gentle, kind, etc. I hardly think that blowing out an animal’s heart or lungs with a bullet would be compatible with any of these definitions.
I seem to have more tolerance for hunters who admit they cause suffering to animals than those who try to justify their actions as a “humane kill”.
However, there is a more insidious threat to the grizzly bear population that can be found in the expression “trophy hunt”. As the word “trophy” indicates, these hunters are only interested in taking the biggest and best specimens they can find, the very same animals that should be preserved as prime breeding stock. Every time one of these superior specimens is killed, the gene pool of that population is severely depleted, especially when there are only a small number of animals.
The number of places where large carnivores such as grizzly bears can survive is decreasing every year due to habitat destruction. We should be doing everything possible to preserve the gene pool of this increasingly rare animal. I would like to tell our premier to listen to what the vast majority of her constituents want and stop this unnecessary and archaic hunt.