An American hunter who sparked outrage with photos that show her striking a victorious pose in front of a giraffe she killed in South Africa is hitting back at her critics.
The controversial images, initially shared by Kentucky native Tess Thompson Talley in 2017, began making the rounds on social media after the Twitter account for Africa Digest posted them online toward the end of June. The obscure news website described her as a “white American Savage who is partly neanderthal.”
White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe coutrsey of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share
Celebrities including actress Debra Messing and comedian Ricky Gervais were quick to join conservationists slamming the Kentucky hunter, but Talley has since rejected their fiery animal rights advocacy. In a statement to Fox News, she explained that she killed the old giraffe to prevent it from killing younger calves — a practice called “conservation through game management.”
“The giraffe I hunted was the South African sub-species of giraffe. The numbers of these sub-species is actually increasing due, in part, to hunters and conservation efforts paid for in large party by big game hunting,” she said. “The breed is not rare in any way other than it was very old. Giraffes get darker with age.”
While fewer than 100,000 giraffes remain on the continent, the sub-species Talley hunted has seen a 167% increase in population — up about 21,000 — since 1979. Meanwhile, the overall giraffe population has decreased by as much as 40%.
Talley also noted the giraffe, about 18 years old and unable to breed, has so far killed three younger bulls able to breed, ultimately curbing the growth of its herd.
When she first posted the photos more than a year ago, she described her South Africa trip as a “dream hunt.”
“Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite a while,” she wrote. “I knew it was the one. He was over 18 years old, 4,000 lbs. and was blessed to be able to get more than 2,000 lbs. of meat from him.”
Trophy hunting is legal in several African countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
“People will say stuff behind a computer screen they’d never say to your face. She was hunting in South Africa and giraffes are legal to hunt in South Africa,” Paul Babaz, the president of hunting advocacy group Safari Club International, told CBS.
The trophy fee for a giraffe is about $2,000 to $3,000 per animal, with the funds going toward the nearby community. It helps prevent poaching and provides incentive to make sure big game animals don’t become instinct, according to Babaz.
“Without that… the poachers will come in and kill the animals indiscriminately, which is very unfortunate,” he said.
The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee meets in Polson, Montana this week to consider last steps toward removing Montana’s largest population of grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List.
IGBC members meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to possibly adopt the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem conservation strategy, the blueprint directing how state wildlife agencies would manage grizzlies if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists them.
FWS has already removed about 700 grizzly bears in the three-state area known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the endangered list. Wyoming Game and Fish Department has proposed selling hunting licenses for at least 22 grizzlies this fall. Idaho has a quota of one male grizzly for hunting. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks commissioners opted to skip a grizzly hunt in 2018 over concerns that pending lawsuits against the delisting might block a fall hunt.
On Friday Idaho Fish and Game Dept. announced its system for a grizzly hunting lottery, with applications accepted between June 15 and July 15. The drawing is limited to Idaho residents with a valid state hunting license who must pay a nonrefundable $16.75 application fee and prepay the tag fee of at least $166.75. Unsuccessful applicants will get their tag fees refunded.
About 1,000 grizzlies live in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which spreads along the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian border with Glacier National Park south almost to Missoula. They are considered geographically and genetically distinct from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem bears.
If the IGBC members approve the conservation strategy on this week, it may form the basis of the federal delisting rule set to be published later in 2018.
“It essentially commits the agencies to follow the spirit of the conservation strategy,” said IGBC spokesman Dillon Tabish. “This isn’t the end of the public opportunity to comment. Any actions they (the participating agencies) would have to take must follow public process.”
FWS Grizzly Recovery Coordinator Hillary Cooley said the final delisting rule remained a ways off.
“We’ve got an initial draft, but it has a lot of review to go through,” Cooley said on Friday. “We don’t have a specific date right now, other than by the end of 2018.”
Cooley explained that while the IGBC executive committee’s endorsement is important to the federal rule-making process, the individual agencies, such as the National Park Service, state wildlife managers and Blackfeet and Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal governments, sign separately.
The federal delisting rule sets mortality limits for how many bears may die before Endangered Species Act protections might be re-imposed. The conservation strategy guides local wildlife managers in how to avoid that situation.
“If a state or tribe decides to hunt at some time, that’s their business,” Cooley said. “What matters to us is they stay within the mortality limits, no matter what the cause.”
The strategy has received extensive criticism of its methods for measuring bear population trends, habitat quality and allowance of hunting opportunities. Mike Bader, an advocate for keeping grizzlies under ESA protection, said the new strategy appeared legally vulnerable.
“They’re just rushing this through as fast as they can,” Bader said on Friday. “I don’t think they’ve dotted the i’s or crossed the t’s on what the grizzly bear needs.”
Bader noted that seven NCDE grizzlies have died in the past few weeks, including four that were hit by vehicles on roadways. He said the strategy made overly optimistic assumptions about how fast grizzly numbers are growing, which could prove disastrous if conditions change unexpectedly.
A federal judge in Missoula has scheduled an August 31 hearing on challenges to the Greater Yellowstone grizzly delisting. Wyoming’s proposed grizzly hunting season starts right after that, and could be derailed if the judge rules to keep the bear federally protected or requires more time for review.
One issue the lawsuit raises is whether FWS can remove protection from some distinct population segments of bears (such as the Greater Yellowstone) without dooming recovery in smaller areas such as the Cabinet-Yaak or North Cascades ecosystems. A similar lawsuit involving delisting gray wolves around the Western Great Lakes ordered FWS to take a much harder look at how removing protections from one population segment might affect the others.
Tabish said the final 144-page strategy has an appendix with about 60 pages of responses to past public comments. Tuesday’s meeting will further discuss how the NCDE and Yellowstone ecosystem bear populations might link in the future.
The executive committee plans to tour the National Bison Range and some other parts of the Mission Valley affected by grizzly activity on Wednesday.
When Cecil the Lion was slain by American dentist Walter Palmer in July 2015, the incident sparked fury around the globe. The 13-year-old lion was a popular attraction at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, known for his striking black mane and comfort with tourist vehicles. His fate drew intense news coverage, a flurry of celebrity tweets, and an impassioned monologue from Jimmy Kimmel.
But that short spike in public attention wasn’t enough to inspire lawmakers to make widespread changes to trophy-hunting policies, a new report indicates. Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found that people really were more concerned about lions and trophy hunting after the incident, yet the impact of that interest proved limited.
“There was this moment of extreme attention focused on lions after Cecil’s death, but it really was fleeting,” says coauthor David Konisky, an environmental policy researcher.
Individual animals—however appealing they are and however upsetting their deaths may be—don’t have a great track record for changing conservation policies, he says. Cecil may not have overhauled the rules on trophy imports, but he was still a pretty impressive poster lion.
To understand Cecil’s legacy, Konisky and his colleague Stefan Carpenter investigated internet search histories in the aftermath of his death. Right after the news broke, people around the world looked up terms related to lion conservation and trophy hunting 50 times more frequently than in the previous two years. But three weeks later, the spike in searches had already waned. In the six to 12 months following Cecil’s death, public interest was only slightly higher than in the two years before the incident.
The team also examined new laws in the United States (and the other seven countries that most often import lion trophies) in the year after Cecil’s death. They found that Cecil’s demise had only a limited impact on the adoption of new rules to restrict trophy imports. This isn’t surprising, Konisky says. “These windows of opportunity are short and often insufficient to create the impetus for policy change.” However, he says, “There were some policies that were already underway, and it may be that Cecil’s death helped push them over the finish line.”
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to fight the illegal wildlife trade on July 30, 2015. In November France issued a ban on lion trophy imports. Cecil’s death may have influenced this move, although it’s hard to know by how much, Carpenter said in an email.
In the United States, several bills were named after Cecil. However, only New Jerseyand Hawaii passed new laws to restrict the import, sale, or possession of animal parts that year. In December 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed one subspecies of lion as threatened and another as endangered; however, the original petition to update the big cats’ statuses had been filed in 2011.
Cecil may have made people more aware of lion trophy hunting. Still, in the United States, the average citizen does not spend much time thinking about lions, Konisky says. “Having a brief spurt of attention is not going to create long-term demand for policy change.”
There are times when a high-profile crisis can draw enough public scrutiny to spur policy changes. This happened after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979.
However, Konisky says, he’s not aware of any incidents involving a famous animal that sparked major changes to conservation laws—or even captured worldwide attention the way Cecil’s death did. “People are really concerned about air pollution and water pollution, but issues around endangered species don’t typically garner a lot of concern or interest,” he says.
For many people, though, the lion’s story was uniquely compelling. Early accounts were filled with “salacious details” of Cecil’s wounding and death, Konisky and Carpenter wrote in the journal Oryx on November 2. “People found it objectionable on many levels,” Konisky says. “It made a mark on folks.”
There are signs that people in the United States are beginning to pay more attention to big game hunting. More than 40 airlines announced in August 2015 that they would refuse to ship lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies. In October 2016, the United States banned the import of trophies from captive lions. And when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to end a ban on importing elephant trophies last month, the backlash was intense. Several days later President Trump announced the ban would stay in place for now.
So it’s possible that future hunts will create even more of an outcry. On the other hand, Cecil’s son Xanda was also killed by a game hunter this summer and received less intense news coverage. “If we had a big focusing event, I would not necessarily expect a different outcome than we saw with Cecil the Lion,” Konisky says.
A grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The state’s Game and Fish Commission votes Wednesday on a grizzly bear hunt that would permit the killing of up to 22 bears. (Jim Urquhart/AP)
A Wyoming wildlife commission will vote Wednesday on whether to approve the state’s first grizzly bear hunt in more than four decades, a proposal that could lead to the killing of as many as 22 bears just one year after Yellowstone-area grizzlies were removed from the endangered species list.
Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 were federally protected in 1975, when only about 136 of the animals remained in and around Yellowstone National Park. Their numbers had rebounded to about 700 by last year, prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Yellowstone population and leave its management to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Montana in February decided against opening a trophy hunt, and Idaho, home to the smallest number of grizzlies, this month approved a fall huntof a single male bear.
Under Wyoming’s proposal, a maximum of one female or 10 male grizzlies could be killed inside the state’s section of a federally designated “demographic monitoring area” — a zone of “suitable” bear habitat where biologists track the species’ population. Another 12, male or female, could be hunted outside that area. No hunting would be allowed inside Yellowstone, nearby Grand Teton National Park or the road that connects them. The Wyoming plan also includes a no-hunt buffer zone in a region east of Grand Teton where several bears adored by photographers and tourists are known to roam and den.
Wyoming’s proposal would allow for the hunting of a maximum of one female or 10 males within Zones 1-6. Up to 12 bears, female or male, could be hunted in Zone 7. (Wyoming Fish and Game Department)
Federal biologists say limited hunting is unlikely to harm the overall grizzly population in the Yellowstone area, and Wyoming officials have described their proposal as conservative. “The question is not whether you hunt grizzly bears or not,” Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, told C-SPAN earlier this month. “The question is whether grizzly bears have grown enough in terms of population and in habitat that they can be a sustainable species. And clearly they have.”
But the hunting plan has faced heavy opposition from conservation groups and others who say it would imperil the population. More than 200 tribal nations have condemned the idea of hunting an animal they consider sacred and proposed to instead relocate grizzlies to tribal lands. More than 100 wildlife photographers wrote a letter calling on Mead to prioritize the wishes — and dollars — of tourists who come to the region in hopes of spotting “one of the most storied, beloved and photographed bear populations in the world.”
In another recent letter to the governor, 73 scientists said the hunt would recklessly endanger a vulnerable population that has lost food sources, including white bark pine, due to climate change, and limit Yellowstone bears’ ability to connect with a larger population of grizzlies in northwest Montana. (Those bears, in and around Glacier National Park, remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, although Fish and Wildlife is considering delisting them as well.)
The letter, written by the former federal grizzly bear biologist David Mattson, said allowing a dozen deaths outside the demographic monitoring area, where approximately 80 to 100 grizzlies live, would be “tantamount to planned extirpation,” in that region. Hunting, it continued, “is ethically irresponsible, unwarranted and not in the public’s interest.”
Grizzly bear No. 399 crosses a road in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with her three cubs in 2011. The Wyoming grizzly proposal includes a no-hunt buffer zone east of Teton in an area where 399 and other famous bears are known to den. (Tom Mangelsen/AP)
Conservation organizations say hunting would add unnecessary deaths to the dozens of grizzlies killed by humans each year as the bears expand farther into developed areas.
“Grizzly bears have only just begun to recover, and hunting could sabotage that crucial process,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “People love these bears and don’t want to see them killed just so somebody can put a trophy on the wall.”
At least 56 grizzlies died within the demographic monitoring area last year, many after being hit by cars, shot in self-defense by hunters or lethally “removed” by wildlife agencies for killing livestock or seeking out human food. Of seven deaths recorded this year, four have been in Wyoming. Three were killed by state bear managers — one for breaking into a building for food, and two for “frequenting a calving area” and “bold behavior toward humans.” The fourth, an elderly bear that could not lift its hind legs, was euthanized, according to federal records.
Like conservation groups, Wyoming officials cite those numbers as talking points, but they use them instead to justify a hunt. Hunters, they say, could help weed out problem bears.
“The agency is removing every year several female and male bears for conflict reasons, and if hunting reduces that, it’s a good thing,” Brian Nesvik, chief game warden for the state Game and Fish Department, told the Casper Star-Tribune.
Wyoming’s proposal has gotten support from the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, a group that promotes hunting. Even if approved by the state game and fish commission on Wednesday, however, it could be stymied in court later this year.
Several lawsuits have challenged the delisting of Yellowstone grizzlies, and a U.S. District Court judge earlier this year ordered all parties to combine their arguments into a single set of briefs. A decision is expected this summer, before the September start of hunting seasons in Wyoming and Idaho.
We all know his name … it appeared on countless news channels … he was even projected on the Empire State Building. Cecil the lion’s tragic death brought trophy hunting to the forefront of global conversation like no other case did. People from all walks of life spoke out, changed their Facebook profile pictures, and donated money to the cause, but as media hype died down, the vast majority forgot all about it after a few short weeks. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is still happening and innocent animals are still suffering – in the same place Cecil called home.
A petition on Care2 has been launched demanding that the Zimbabwean government intervene and stop allowing heartless trophy hunters to kill endangered animals around Hwange National Park. This is where Walter Palmer paid $50,000 to brutally end Cecil’s life without even actually “hunting.” Many other disturbing facts behind the infamous case are being brought to light in a new book by the man who studied Cecil for eight years before the tragedy, including how Cecil was lured to the nearby conservatory where lion research was performed and how the Zimbabwe government slid it all under the rug.
The bottom line is that as long as trophy hunting is allowed, animals will be murdered for profit. If Cecil’s story touched you, signing the petition is a simple step you can take in his honor. There is no reason this had to happen to Cecil, and no other animal should be put in the position of being murdered and tortured for the pleasure of cruel and evil trophy hunters. Zimbabwe’s government needs to be held accountable for not taking the crime seriously, and it’s time they call an end to all trophy hunting in and around Hwange National Park once and for all!
In a new low, the Trump administration has created an advisory council dedicated exclusively to promoting the killing of imperiled wildlife species for sport.
Filled with trophy hunters and gun industry lobbyists, the International Wildlife Conservation Council now wields considerable influence over America’s international hunting policies, putting the future of vulnerable species like elephants, lions, and giraffes at grave risk.
Tell Interior President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop promoting international trophy hunting and immediately dismantle the IWCC.
Your message will be sent to:
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
President Donald Trump
Dismantle the International Wildlife Conservation Council
(Consider adding your own thoughts — personalized messages are especially effective)
President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. deserves to be deported for hunting and killing an elephant and other wildlife, animal rights activists demand.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Friday it plans to put up a billboard in towns bordering Mexico features an infamous image of Trump Jr. holding a knife and the tail of an elephant he apparently shot abroad.
“Deport callous cheating opportunists now! All nations have their undesirables. Kindness welcome,” the billboard slated for El Paso and Laredo, Texas, states
Bec and Sharna don’t look like the kind of people you’d call “psychotic murderers”, “disgusting whores” or “killers with a sick fetish”.[… but they are.]
They’re normal, friendly women. They’ve got normal jobs. They live in normal, regional towns.
Bec and Sharna
But when killing wild animals on the weekend is what you call fun, they’re the kind of names they’ve come to expect.
Between them, Bec and Sharna have killed enough animals to pretty much fill a zoo. Deer, a zebra, a giraffe, a mountain lion, a pigeon, foxes, kangaroos, impalas, baboons, a feral cat, a cow and a wild dog have all found themselves in the crosshairs of Sharna’s rifle or the target of Bec’s bow.
Some end up on their dinner table, some in their dog’s bowls, and some end up hanging in their living rooms.
“Each of those have their own story and for us, we don’t want to see any of it go to waste either. That’s probably the best use of those skins.”
The Hunting “lifestyle”
Hunting has been part of her life for so long, Bec can’t even remember the first time she fired a gun. A sixth-generation hunter; it’s in her blood.
“It was the same as other kids going and playing footy. We went hunting. It was just something that was done.
“I learnt really quickly that when I went to school that not all families were like my family. We ate a lot of homekill meat; I grew up on a sheep farm so Dad always slaughtered our own lambs.
“Sometimes that meant that we even ate our pets,” Bec says, remembering her pet lamb Blinky who eventually ended up on her plate.
“I remember friends coming over after school and they were like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ and then I started to realise that that wasn’t how other families did it.”
Bec and Sharna are both licensed hunters and only hunt animals permitted by local authorities. They both insist hunting, for them, is more than a hobby.
Why hunters find joy in the kill
Sarah McVeigh spent five days with Bec and Sharna in the Victorian High Country to understand how they tick and why they get satisfaction from killing animals.
“Hunting is a challenge. And sitting around the campfire is fun,” Sharna says. “Pushing myself when it’s freezing cold up that mountain, that’s the fun part. Taking the actual shot is something where, you’re in the moment, there’s that adrenaline rush.
“I think they say it’s the same chemical release as kissing and that sort of thing. You’re getting that big rush of endorphins.”
Critics of Bec and Sharna – mostly on their public posts on Facebook – don’t buy their argument. They call Bec and Sharna serial killers; they call them sick; they say Bec and Sharna should turn their weapons on themselves.
“Put a rifle up your c***,” someone wrote, “and pull the trigger”.
Bec and Sharna understand why people are quick to judge hunters. But they say criticism tends to be clouded by false assumptions, and – unless their critics are vegans – embedded in hypocrisy.
“They think we go out there to torture animals where we don’t,” Sharna says. “They don’t understand what we do. That’s definitely an aspect of why people dislike us so much.”
But Bec and Sharna’s reasoning for hunting boils down to a few things: they enjoy hunting for fitness, they eat the animals they’ve killed, and they only kill animals that are a sustainable resource.
“I’d much rather know where my meat is coming from,” Sharna says. “I don’t want to just walk into the supermarket, pick it up off the shelf and not know where it’s come from.
“There’s a genuine respect for the animal. There’s no regret [when we kill]. But there’s… it’s very hard to describe. It’s not remorse, it’s not regret.
Are all animals equal?
Bec and Sharna often go back to this existential point: when it comes to hunting in the animal kingdom, there is no hierarchy. Apart from endangered or rare species, no life is worth more than another. Squishing a spider is the same as shooting a baboon in South Africa – where they are a sustainable resource, Bec says.
Bec shot a giraffe in South Africa, and the animal was butchered that day for the locals to eat.
Bec in South Africa
“The amount of food that this guy provided for the local community is possibly still being enjoyed,” Bec says.
“I’m not a serial killer”
Bec says none of the criticism she’s received online has made her “second-guess” her hobby and lifestyle choice.
But for Sharna, one comment caught her off guard.
A commenter once took issue with Sharna’s taxidermy animals. “That’s what a serial killer does, a serial killer collects tokens,” the commenter told Sharna.
“For me I was like, ‘I want to know what separates me from a serial killer’ and that’s a pretty big thing to think about within yourself. That comment made me sit down and think about that.”
So what does separate Sharna and Bec from, say, Ivan Milat? Is it just the victims they choose?
“There’s plenty of things,” Sharna says.
“I’m a nurse and I have compassion for people. Obviously serial killers don’t think about their actions – they’re sociopaths. So there’s quite a bit that separates me from a serial killer.
Sarah McVeigh with Bec and Sharna
Both Bec and Sharna are careful about calling killing “fun”. They insist the act of hunting – the whole experience – is fun, but pulling the trigger is not.
“If I were to say that to pull the trigger is fun, the way people view me might change,” Sharna admits.
“You take the shot, pull the trigger, and if that animal falls over straight away, hasn’t really known what’s going on, that’s a success. So you do get excited about it, and it is a fun activity.”
Sharna and Bec know it’s hard for people to understand how killing could be fun.
“Instead of just sitting behind a keyboard and telling me that what I’m doing is wrong, come and see it.”
OpinionFILE – In this Friday, March 2, 2018 file photo, keeper Zachariah Mutai attends to Fatu, one of only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, in the pen where she is kept for observation, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya. According to four new United Nations scientific reports on biodiversity released on Friday, March 23, 2018, Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
As a result of the Trump Administration recently announcing a decision to let trophy hunting imports into the United States on a case by case basis, many animal conservation organizations are suing to prevent this, arguing that the decision violates the Endangered Species Act. These conservation groups include the Humane Society International and the Center for Biological Diversity. By bringing these lawsuits against the decision, these groups are bringing more attention to the barbaric and cruel pastime known as trophy hunting. Thousands of animals are killed globally every year simply for sport or for “trophies,” such as ivory tusks from elephants. This practice is not only cruel and brutish but also cowardly and pathetic. America has been faced with popular news stories regarding trophy hunting over the past few years, one notable example being the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, and another being the pictures of Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. with trophy-hunted carcasses.
These stories have rightly caused outrage over the terrible practice.
Trophy hunting is often part of a business, often peddled by the Safari Club International (SCI). This organization encourages wealthy hunters to kill animals for rewards and import them back to America. Animals often targeted include lions, elephants and rhinos . This is a despicable practice that has no place in a civilized society. Killing animals is not a sport, and it does not make you a more interesting person, merely a smaller one. If you feel the need to spend a vacation targeting and shooting beautiful animals just to bring back a trophy that serves as a reminder of the kill, then it demonstrates that you are a person of abhorrent character. Much of the time, it is not even a challenge to bring these animals down; professional guides may bait animals with food so that hunters can more easily find and kill them, or traps may be used to trap the animal until the hunter can shoot them. It is truly despicable to see how far one will go in order to feel the false thrill of being a “hunter,” as Donald Trump Jr. calls himself. With the recent news of the death of the last male northern white rhino, animal conservation is back in the news cycle. Many argue that, ironically, trophy hunting can aid animal conservation efforts because wealthy people pay great sums in order to have the chance to hunt exotic animals, and these funds can be applied to conservation programs. However, this is assuming that the funds will actually be used for this purpose; in many regions where trophy hunting is rampant, so is corruption ( https://www.vox.com/2018/3/7/17091000/ban-lifted-elephant-trophy-hunting). For instance, Cecil the lion was killed in Zimbabwe, where there is much political unrest, making conservation efforts not a priority. We cannot trust that trophy hunting will help conservation efforts, especially if more animals are being hunted anyway. Instead, countries should focus on raising money for conservation efforts from other tourist activities such as safaris where the animals are appreciated for their beauty, not killed in order to satisfy someone’s fragile ego.
It is a bit concerning that Trump has allowed some trophy animals to potentially be imported into the United States on a case-by-case basis. He has expressed disgust with the practice himself, calling trophy hunting a “horror show”; however, it is likely that he wants the case by case clause in order to satisfy his sons, who participate in trophy hunting. This is especially frustrating because this is not a complete condemnation of trophy hunting, which is what we need from the President of the United States. Trophy hunting is a vile activity, and Americans should not be encouraged to engage in it. The first step in finally changing the attitude towards it completely is banning the importation of carcasses into the United States; Trump should make a moral stand for once and make all cases illegal.
Connecticut’s black bears are safe thanks to Friends of Animals and our supporters. On Wednesday, a bear trophy hunt bill was shot down by the Environment Committee of the General Assembly 21 to 8.
“FoA is relieved that common sense and truth prevailed among those legislators on the Environment Committee…” said FoA President Priscilla Feral. Thank you to everyone who helped keep CT’s bears safe!
March 7, 2018
Find and contact your Connecticut state senators and representatives at (860) 240- 0100 or use this ONLINE DIRECTORY to make direct contact and tell them to OPPOSE the CT Bear Trophy Hunt Bill.
Contact the state Environment Committee’s Co-Chair Craig Miner at 860 240-8860 and co-chairs Senator Ted Kennedy and Rep. Mike Demicco and tell them Connecticut won’t tolerate a blood-soaked, shoot-first approach to bear management, especially at a time when gun violence in this country is an epidemic.
This bill would allow black bear hunting in Connecticut for the first time since the 1800s. But what legislators who support the bill, including a committee co-chair with ties to the gun lobby, don’t want you to know is that you should fear hunters, not black bears.
Hunters in CT killed 10 people and injured 114 in hunting accidents between 1982-2016
Number of people killed by bears? Zero.
Supporters of the bill are also trying to manipulate the public and stir up fear in the state. But here’s the real bear facts:
Black bears are not overpopulated. Every sighting of a bear doesn’t mean it’s a different bear. There’s just a paltry 200 bears in the Northwest corner, according to a UCONN study and the state has a capacity for about 2,000 bears, according to DEEP’s own reports.
Scientific studies show there is actually a weak correlation between the population of bears and bear attacks. Bear-human conflict is more closely correlated with human behavior. Black bears are shy, according to state bear biologists and are habituated into problematic behavior by humans. What DEEP (Department of Energy & ENvironmental Protection) should be telling you is that in March you should bring in your bird feeders, use bear-resistant cans, avoid feeding the bears, clean your outdoor grills, carry bear spray and use bear bells when hiking.
No matter how much supporters of the bill and the dwindling hunting markets fear, shooting bears will not teach the ones who aren’t slaughtered not to be opportunistic feeders.
DEEP already has a bear management program and last year it only reported 5 nuisance bears.
Don’t let Connecticut’s bears get caught in the cross-fire of NRA interests who are exaggerating numbers to manipulate the public with fear so hunters, who represent just 1 percent of the state’s population, can slaughter bears to use as rugs and mount them.