Money Talks; Grizzly Bears Die

by Barry Kent MacKay
Senior Program Associate

Born Free USA’s Canadian Representative


If they knew how pathetic they looked to ordinary people, would they feel
shame? Nah. They probably don’t care what others think. I speak of those
whose idea of fun is to end the life of a magnificent animal, pose over his
or her cooling carcass while photos are snapped, and keep remnants of the
slaughtered being in their trophy rooms.

The Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, who heads the Liberal Party,
is the darling of Safari Club International. She supports trophy hunting
because, well, it brings in money. That-not the lives of innocent
wildlife-is what matters to her ilk. Blood money is still money: the
fervently worshipped material deity of all that matters. Safari Club
International recently donated $60,000 to help assure that, in the May 9
provincial election, the National Democratic Party would not unseat Ms.

If elected, the National Democratic Party-far more progressive than the
Liberal party-has promised to end trophy hunting for grizzlies. Thus, rich
and powerful Safari Club International members in both Canada and the U.S.
dug into their change drawers and donated the $60,000 to the Liberal
election campaign, apparently through the Guide Outfitters Association of
British Columbia (which has honored Clark with its President’s Award,
cheered by her refusal to change the laws in order to limit such

The more rare and more magnificent the animal, the more these trophy hunters
seem to want to kill. Perhaps it’s out of some deep psychological need to
dominate, as if owning the stuffed remains of these glorious animals somehow
imbues the hunter with some of the glory. (Although, of course, to most of
us, it does the opposite.) And, few animals left in North America are more
rare than the grizzly bear, extirpated through so much of its former range.

Poll after poll and survey after survey have shown that more than 90% of
British Columbia residents don’t approve of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
Even hunters, many of whom hunt for food and sport, disdain the trophy
hunter; they recognize that the “trophy” is the result of wealth, not of
what they would consider skill or need. British Columbia’s National
Democratic Party leader, John Horgan, clarifies that he does not oppose
hunting, but that he would end the British Columbia trophy hunt if he
becomes Premier.

Wildlife biologists, including those on the government’s own payroll, often
stand firmly opposed to the trophy hunt on ecological and conservation
grounds. That’s an important economic consideration, as two major studies
have shown that bear viewing generates more tourist income than bear trophy
hunting. But, you need to have bears to view-and the grizzly, with its need
for extensive wilderness and its slow reproductive rates, is particularly
vulnerable to endangerment.

The Liberals ended a moratorium on grizzly trophy hunts when they came to
power. Now, it’s time for things to change.

Barry Kent MacKay

Senior Program Associate

Born Free U.S.A.



4 thoughts on “Money Talks; Grizzly Bears Die

  1. Most residents of British Columbia don’t approve of the grizzly hunt, and most people polled here don’t like the wolf hunt. But they aren’t organized and wealthy.

    No, most hunters don’t know how pathetic they look. But I suspect they have enough brain power to maintain vital functions but not enough to judge themselves. They would not like the results anyway.

    • Then I think we need a new messiah to pull us out of this bleak apathy, and for some, despair. If we had a leader with some superhuman power of persuasion, and if his teachings included kindness for all living beings, maybe this time we could get it right. We need a new moral leader because human species is fundamentally unchanged since our ancestors first walked the earth upright. We have just managed to teach the thugs and monsters among us that it is far easier for them to use animals, rather than humans, for their sadistic urges and carnage.

  2. Another human trait that we tend to ignore: “trophy hunters…. want to kill…….out of some deep psychological need to dominate,” We are by far not the perfect species, although we keep calling ourselves the most intelligent.

  3. So, make money talk for conservationists. 90% of the population disapproves of grizzly trophy hunting. Safari Club International donates to the Democratic National Party candidate. The Liberal Party has promised to end trophy hunting. Money talks. It means some of the voters did not put their vote where their values are on this issue. Still, the same phenomenon occurs in USA. Hunters comprise only about 6% of the population but rule the state wildlife agencies in red states particularly with their super conservative legislatures and conservative fish and game commissioners. Conservationists need a dirty politics division. Dirty politics and a little money in the right places. It might costs less than law suits.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s