Ice melt forces polar bears into paths of Alaska schoolchildren

 

Trevor Hughes5 hrs ago
 
File - In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier, a tourist attraction viewed by hundreds of thousands each year, could be gone by 2200 if climate warming trends continue, according to a new University of Alaska Fairbanks study.© (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File) File – In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau’s…WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.”Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.

 

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund.  “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional

WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.
In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.

“Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.    
   

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund. “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional way of life.

Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

Featured Image -- 11003

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
Jeff Bell <http://www.timescolonist.com/authors?author=Jeff%20Bell> / Times
Colonist
April 20, 2016 06:00 AM

< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel> Next
< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel>

Bryce Casavant’s actions last July came after the cubs’ mother was judged to
be too habituated to humans and was killed for twice raiding a freezer at a
Port Hardy-area home.
The decision not to kill the cubs led to Casavant’s suspension.
That sparked an online petition for his reinstatement that reached close to
310,000 supporters. The case attracted international attention, which
included comedian Ricky Gervais sticking up for Casavant via Twitter.
Casavant, 33, returned to work in late August in a different job at an equal
pay grade.
He said he and the government have reached an agreement that sees him become
a natural-resource officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations, while at the same time pursuing a PhD at Royal Roads
University.
“The province of B.C. is fully supporting me in my educational endeavours,”
he said.
The general duties of a natural-resource officer include enforcement and
patrol relating to resource-management laws, which can cover such areas as
the Wildfire Act, the Forest Act and the Water Act.
Casavant described the combination of work and school as “a different
direction.”
He said he accepted the consequences after the action he took with the cubs.
“Generally speaking, people are faced with difficult decisions every day in
their lives and I made one, and I was willing to be held accountable
professionally and legally for that decision,” he said. “This is now the
outcome of that.”
Casavant said his PhD research will focus on “the social aspects of conflict
wildlife.”
“I think there’s different social perceptions within society of predators,
and how that relates to the urban interface, how that shapes our prevention
and response measures,” he said.
“It’s not just conservation officers – you have a lot of police responding
to conflict wildlife throughout the province.”
The cubs, who have been named Jordan and Athena, were taken to the North
Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where they are doing well in the company of
other bears.
“It looks very positive,” said centre founder Robin Campbell.
Campbell said the pair will be released this year, likely in the summer or
fall.
“They’ll have transmitters on them so we’ll be able to follow them.”
jwbell@timescolonist.com

– See more at:
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
s-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#sthash.t36jlVb8.dpuf

An Oasis for Bears in Romania

By , February 3, 2016

LiBearty-1-cristi-si-lidia-020216
Guest Post: Claudia Flisi visits the LiBearty sanctuary for orphaned and abused bears in Transylvania.

Did my guide know something I didn’t? Adrian refused to accompany me inside the LiBearty Sanctuary outside of Zărnești in Braşov County, Transylvania. He knew about the work of the sanctuary of course; he is Romanian-born and a professional guide. But he demurred: “My heart is too soft so I cannot go with you. Please understand.”

I did understand. Zărnești is in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, the crossroads of monstrous myths. Yet the back stories of the sanctuary’s shaggy residents are more unbelievable than Bram Stoker’s tales of Transylvanian vampires. Deliberate blinding, forced alcoholism, involuntary drug addiction, and calculated maiming – not to mention orphans sold into slavery – are oft-told tales at LiBearty Sanctuary.

The back stories of the bears at the sanctuary are more unbelievable than Bram Stoker’s tales of Transylvanian vampires.

The 69-hectare reserve is the largest refuge for brown bears in the world in area and numbers. Since Romania hosts 60 percent of all wild brown bears in Europe (not counting Russia) and also is home to the largest remaining virgin forest on the continent, the location makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is how the bears have fared in their proximity to man. LiBearty’s 80-some bears have suffered more cruelty and bestiality than the human mind can comprehend – never mind that humans alone have been responsible for such cruelty.

LiBearty-Graeme-020216Take Graeme for example. Graeme and his brother were orphaned by hunters in 1994. They killed the cubs’ mother for sport, then locked up the two brothers in a small cage to serve as attractions for visitors to a mountain mining company.

As mining declined, the growing cubs fought for what little food came their way, and Graeme was blinded in one eye. A zoo took him away to pace for years in a wire enclosure, while his brother was abandoned to starve to death in his tiny cage.

Graeme came to LiBearty in 2013 and now, after 21 years of suffering, enjoys open spaces with trees, ponds, and grass, and an ursine companion from his zoo days.

Or Max. Born in 1997 and orphaned soon after, Max became a tourist attraction as a cub. He was chained near a castle in Sinaia so visitors could pay to have their pictures taken with him. To make sure he wouldn’t cause problems as he grew, Max was deliberately blinded and his sharp canine teeth and claws were cut off. Pepper spray was sprayed into his nose to keep him from reacting to smells, and he was drugged every day with tranquilizers dissolved in beer.

LiBearty rescued him in 2006. They couldn’t restore his sight, so they created a private acre-large enclosure for him, where he bathes in his own pool, hibernates in his own den, and spends his days enjoying the sun and the sounds of nature.

“Soon she began to recognize the sound of our car and would stand up to greet us when we arrived.”

Max’s story, his expressive face, and his gentle demeanor move visitors more than those of any other resident of the sanctuary. When I mentioned seeing him to Adrian after my visit, he blanched. “I knew that bear. I would see him in Sinaia when he was still a cub. I knew something was wrong, but there was no one to complain to, back then …”

The fact that “there was no one to complain to” is what moved Cristina Lapis to create the sanctuary in the first place. A long-time animal activist, Lapis is a former journalist from the city of Brașov, about 30 km. northeast of Zărnești. She and her husband Roger, France’s honorary consul to Romania, established the Millions of Friends Association (AMP) in 1997, focusing on the rescue of stray dogs. It is the oldest animal welfare NGO in the country, and today looks after 700 dogs in two shelters.

LiBearty-Cristina-Lapis-020216Less than a year after starting AMP, Lapis encountered Maya. The young brown bear was in a small dirty cage near the tourist attraction of Bran Castle in Transylvania. She had no regular food, no care, no stimulation, only the jeering of tourists and the occasional beer bottle.

Lapis recalls her “boundless rage against the people who could condemn such an animal to a slow and painful death like this.”

For the following four years, Lapis, her husband, and friends traveled 100 miles every day to bring food, water and companionship to the neglected bear. Results were initially promising: “We were able to improve her health and lift her spirits … Soon she began to recognize the sound of our car and would stand up to greet us when we arrived.”

The problem was that Maya had nowhere to go. Zoos at that time were not an improvement in space or cleanliness. There were no shelters for large wild animals, and no money to maintain them, had they existed.

Maya became depressed again, as animals do in captivity. She self-mutilated her right paw, ripping her flesh to the bone. She lost her appetite and the will to live. She died literally in the arms of Cristina Lapis, as the latter rocked her and stroked her fur, on March 11, 2002. Over the bear’s stiffening body, Lapis vowed that she would create a sanctuary for other bears so that they would not suffer a similar fate.

Lapis vowed that she would create a sanctuary for other bears so that they would not suffer a similar fate

LiBearty Sanctury…

More: http://www.earthintransition.org/2016/02/oasis-bears-Romania/

Parks & Wildlife: Hunter’s Injuries Not Caused By Bear

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4)– Wildlife officers say that a hunter was not attacked by a bear, despite claims that he was injured when a bear attacked him.

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigated reports of the bear attack and mauling on the Grand Mesa on Saturday evening.

A hunter in his late 60s was parked on his ATV on Forest Service Road 105 above Powderhorn Ski Resort when he said a bear approached and attacked, causing him to drive over a small cliff into large rocks below. He suffered extensive but non-life threatening injuries.

“We investigated this incident thoroughly over the last three days, including the use of specially trained dogs from the USDA’s Wildlife Services, examination of the injuries, and forensic crime scene examination and we found conclusive evidence that a bear did not attack this individual,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke in a statement. “This individual is certain that he saw a bear. We are not discounting that he saw something that caused him to react.”

(credit: CBS)

“People get very concerned about wildlife conflicts, and it is not helpful to cause unneeded alarm,” said Romatzke. “Just like a typical crime scene, all possible conflicts with wildlife require extensive investigation to come to accurate, factual conclusions. It’s important for the public to get the right information, especially when it comes to issues that potentially affect their safety.”

The hunter’s name is not being released.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/09/22/parks-wildlife-hunters-injuries-not-caused-by-bear/

Search for wounded bear shot by bowhunters under way in Kitsap Co.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Wildlife-officials-search-Kitsap-County-for-wounded-aggressive-bear-328448541.html

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — Officers with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife are searching the residential area of Port Orchard for a wounded 300-pound bear.

The animal attacked two men after they tried to kill it, and search dogs have been brought to a gravel road just off Berry Lake Road to help track it down.

“This bear has just been frequenting this area according to the neighbors, and these gentlemen had a hunting license, and they decided to do it,” Sergeant Ted Jackson with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

After the bear was shot with a bow and arrow on Saturday, the animal went dashing back into woods. Hours later, the men found the bear not far away and that’s when the situation turned dangerous.

“The bear started to turn near the father and son, the father again shot it with his bow, the bear went after him, and then turned and went after the son,” Jackson said.

Both men were treated for scratches and puncture wounds.

Meanwhile, the injured bear is still lurking around the area only a mile away from Sidney Glen Elementary.

“We’d like to get this thing out of here before schools starts,” said Jackson.

Area resident Ken Bruney is keeping a close eye out while working on his property.

“If you wound an animal you better call somebody, or do something about it,” Bruney said.

Fish and Wildlife officials say the bear hunters did not break the law, but they should have contacted authorities sooner since the animal is dangerous.

“We don’t want a wounded bear out there,” Jackson said. “You could walk through the brush and it could be sitting out here and somebody else could get attacked. We need to get it out of here and make sure we can find it.”

Officials say to never approach a wounded bear, and they are asking residents to be cautious and call 911 if you see the bear.

The search will continue until they find the wounded animal.

Bear shot dead by NINE-YEAR-OLD boy at a children’s birthday party

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Looking through the scope of a high powered hunting rifle, an excited boy of nine celebrates his birthday by shooting dead a majestic brown bear.

Reed Sutley shouted “yeah” after firing the fatal shot.

The delighted lad and four pals then giggled at the grisly birthday party as they chatted about the killing.

Reed boasted: “We saw eight bears – one down and seven more to go.”

The boys were taken on the trip by Reed’s dad, Greg, who filmed the killing and posted the footage online.

The video – which has emerged as part of a Mirror investigation – shows Reed and his school friends perched in a lair high above the ground.

Whispering and waiting on the wooden platform in a tree, they watched the bears that were lured to the area with bait provided by Mr Sutley.

An adult then took the gun from a collection of weapons and passed it to Reed.

The boy can hardly contain his glee as he prepared to kill.

Reed took aim as two bears gorged on the food.

His dad gave encouragement and told the lad to shoot the animal that was lying on the floor while it ate.

A single bullet is fired and the animal collapses as Reed celebrates the slaying and the other bear runs away.

After filming the birthday party in Alberta, Canada, hunter Mr Sutley posted the harrowing three-minute video – called “9 Year Old Shoots First Bear at Birthday Party” – on YouTube.

The proud dad bragged on his YouTube page: “Reed took his first bear with a perfect shot!”

His footage has attracted outrage, with one YouTube user saying: “Words cannot describe how disgusting this is.

“Greg mate, you should be ashamed of yourself bringing kids out on a road trip for the soul purpose of killing an innocent animal… Why the f*** are these kids laughing… after they killed it?”

Canadian Mr Sutley runs a hunting company in Alberta which charges up to £5,500 for those wanting to follow in the footsteps of Walter Palmer, the US dentist who killed Cecil the lion and has shot dead black bears with a bow and arrow.

The Mirror’s probe into Canada’s cruel hunters found the use of the term “hunter” in parts of North America is not a true reflection of these sickening expeditions.

Images of people tracking animals for days were shown to be myths.

In fact, companies like Mr Sutley’s lure their quarry to their death using barrels filled with beaver tails, doughnuts and maple syrup.

Hunters sit comfortably in hides or trees waiting to kill their prey. The animals are shot dead from yards away.

As part of our investigation we watched as eager trophy hunters descended on Alberta to kill baited bears.

US beauty queen Brittany York, who describes herself on her social media pages as an “animal lover”, is among those who have recently been to the region to hunt.

Last month the 25-year-old along with her dad Richard, 49, travelled more than 2,000 miles via Dallas to Edmonton.

It was her second hunting trip this year to Alberta after killing a bear three months earlier.

Often boasting about her skills she regularly posts graphic pictures and videos of her hunts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

After practising with her bow, Miss York and her party drove in convoy, taking two 4×4 trucks and towing two off-road vehicles to Halliards Bay where her guide and his team bait the area.

For four days the group sat as bears weighing up to 30st and standing 7ft tall ate in front of them, waiting until they found what they thought would make an acceptable kill.

Last Thursday Ms York, who was crowned Miss North Carolina in 2011, published a photo of her dad on Instagram, holding the paw of one of their kills. “Great job, Daddy!” she wrote.

The beauty queen justifies her hobby by claiming she only hunts to eat. But she has been slammed.

One critic said on Facebook: “You call yourself an animal lover when your own cover picture is you smiling disgustingly with a dead animal? You’re despicable.”

Despite repeated attempts to contact Mr Sutley and Miss York, both were unavailable for comment.

The hunts are licensed and there is no suggestion that anything illegal has been done.

Mr Sutley runs his Smoky River Outfitting business from his home in Debolt, Alberta.

The video of his son was published online last year but it has only just been unearthed.

Our probe has also found that hunters can kill bears for as little as £67.

More: http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/bear-shot-dead-by-nine-year-old-boy-at-a-childrens-birthday-party/ar-AAeasJk?li=AA9SkIr&ocid=mailsignout

 

Scientists Baffled as 30 Large Whales Die in Mild Alaska Waters

http://www.accuweather.com/en/features/trend/dead_whales_washing_up_stranded_alaska_gulf_warmer_water_pacific/52033116

<!–

–>

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
August 26, 2015; 4:33 PM ET

Scientists are baffled as to what may be causing a high volume of whale deaths in the Gulf of Alaska this summer.

From May 2015 to mid-August, 30 large whales have stranded in the region, triggering an investigation into the cause of the “unusual mortality event,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service said in a statement.

“To date, this brings the large whale strandings for this region to almost three times the historical average,” NOAA said.

The 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified cetaceans have stranded along the shores of the Gulf of Alaska where water temperatures have consistently been above average for the four-month period.

Bears feed on a fin whale carcass in Larson Bay, Alaska, near Kodiak. Adult fin whales in the Northern Hemisphere measure up to 78 feet, roughly the size of an eight-story building. (Photo/NOAA)

In all of 2014, just five large whale strandings were reported in the western Gulf of Alaska.

Out of the 30 spotted whales, only one has been sampled as of Aug. 14. Most carcasses were floating and irretrievable, NOAA said.

While different species of whales prefer various climates, the fin whale and humpback whale can be found in most of the world’s oceans. Humpback whales migrate to temperate and even polar waters during the summer before migrating back to tropical waters in the winter, according to the American Cetacean Society (ACS).

RELATED:
Record-Setting Toxic Algae Bloom Wreaks Havoc in Pacific From Alaska to California

While fin whales are believed follow a similar pattern, taking to colder areas in the summer for feeding, the ACS said recent evidence suggests they may disperse across deep ocean waters.

In May when the strandings began, water temperatures in the region hovered a couple of degrees above normal in the mid-40s F, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines said.

“Current water temperatures are also couple of degrees above normal,” he said.

Coinciding with well above-normal sea surface temperatures, a record-setting algae bloom has been plaguing the Pacific from Alaska to California. The algae can produce a potent toxin that can be harmful to people, fish and marine mammals, NOAA said.

6,000 grizzly bears left–End the Transport of Canadian Animal Hunting ‘Trophies’

Petitioning Calin Rovinescu, Gregg Saretsky

End the Transport of Canadian Animal Hunting ‘Trophies’

Petition by Pacific Wild

 Air Canada and WestJet have banned the transport of big game out of Africa, but continue to allow the transport of Canadian animal ‘trophies’, such as black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears and wolves.

Sign and share this petition to tell Air Canada and WestJet they should be taking a stand against trophy hunting in their own backyard.

On August 4, Air Canada and WestJet banned the shipment of big game trophies after the brutal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe in early July drew international attention and sparked a media outcry.

What about in our own backyard?

British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, which once roamed widely across North America. Though listed as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, the province still allows a Limited Entry Hunt for grizzly bear trophy hunters twice a year.

Despite a recognized need for protection, independent biologists indicate B.C.’s grizzly population has fallen from 35,000 bears in 1915 to as low as 6,000 today. Still, trophy hunters shoot between 300 and 400 grizzlies each year, and Air Canada and West Jet kindly ship the trophies home.

In 2004, the European Union banned imports of all B.C. grizzly parts into member countries after its analysis found the BC grizzly bear hunt to be unsustainable.

A recent study by the Centre for Responsible Travel finds bear viewing in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest generates far more economic value than bear hunting. According to this study, visitors spent 12 times more on bear viewing than on bear hunting in British Columbia.

Ironically, the very businesses that benefit from tourist travel are undermining it!

Beyond the evidence, 90% of British Columbians simply do not support the trophy hunt including all Coastal First Nations.

In the absence of provincial leadership, we are all doing what we can to stop the trophy hunt. It’s time for Air Canada and West Jet to do their part at home.

Join us in:

a) acknowledging Air Canada CEO, Calin Rovinescu and WestJet CEO, Gregg Saretsky for taking these important first steps to oppose the trophy hunt; and

b) calling on them to take a stand against this brutal and inhumane ‘sport’ in their own backyard by refusing to transport grizzly, black bears, and wolves from their natural habitat.

Until the provincial government of British Columbia bans trophy hunting, it’s up to us to make it as difficult as possible.

Please sign and share this message to help #banthetrophy hunt, one step at a time.

Cecil the lion killer’s shameless photos with illegally killed black bear

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/598471/Cecil-the-lion-Walter-Palmer-poses-black-bear-killed-illegally-shock-new-picture

HORRIFYING new pictures showing the dentist who slaughtered Cecil the lion posing with a bear he slayed illegally have emerged.

PUBLISHED: 20:00, Fri, Aug 14, 2015 | UPDATED: 21:23, Fri, Aug 14, 2015


Man with dead bearWISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Dr Palmer is pictured with a bear he shot dead in 2006


Walter Palmer is pictured beaming ear to ear with a slumped black bear he shot dead nine years before killing Zimbabwe’s much-loved beast.

Dr Palmer, who has become notorious around the world for slaying the famous lion, allegedly tried to bribe his guides with £13,000 when it emerged the hunt was illegal.

The dentist slaughtered the animal with a bow and arrow in Wisconsin, US, in 2006, in an area where he did not have permission to hunt.

According to ABC news, who obtained the pictures through a Freedom of Information request, Dr Palmer then gave false statements to federal prosecutors investigating the illegal hunt.

Court documents said Palmer had a permit to hunt in one county, but he shot the bear 40 miles away in an area where he did not have permission.

When caught and tried, the American hunter pleaded guilty – but only paid a £1,900 fine after signing a plea agreement.

US Attorney John Vaudreuil told ABC: “As soon as the bear was killed, Palmer and the three guys he was with – guides – they agreed they would lie about it.”

But Dr Palmer’s cover-up fell through after the bear trackers on the beast didn’t match with his story.

Dr Palmer has become a worldwide hate figure after paying £35,000 to kill Cecil and return him to the United States as a trophy after luring him off government-protected land.

Man with dead bearWISCONIAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The American hunter tried to cover-up the illegal hunt

Palmer and the three guys he was with – guides – they agreed they would lie about it

John Vaudreuil

The American hunter, who also holds the world record for slaughtering the biggest white rhino ever with a crossbow, has come under a barrage of abuse and has even received death threats from animal rights activists.

He has been in hiding since the reports of him killing Cecil with a crossbow broke last month.

Dr Palmer, who admitted killing the big cat, claimed he believed all the necessary hunting permits were in order.

Zimbabwe has called for the dentist to be extradited from the United States after accusing him of killing the beloved animal illegally.

Conservation-officer-who-refused-to-kill-bear-cubs-back-on-payroll

 Wednesday, July 8, 2015 8:00PM PDT

A B.C. conservation officer suspended without pay for not euthanizing two five-month-old bear cubs is back on the payroll following widespread public outrage.

The province’s Government and Service Employees’ Union confirmed Wednesday that Bryce Casavant is being paid once again, but the officer remains suspended pending the outcome of a government investigation into the incident.

The reversal came after a petition supporting Casavant started circulating online, gathering nearly 50,000 signatures. Actor Ricky Gervais also brought the incident into the international spotlight with a tweet Tuesday evening.

“Bryce Casavant, conservation officer, suspended for refusing to kill bear cubs,” wrote Gervais, who has more than 9 million followers. “Reinstate this honourable man.”

Casavant was suspended for his response to an incident on Vancouver Island over the weekend, when the cubs’ mother was caught eating salmon from a freezer at a property near Port Hardy.

The sow was destroyed, but Casavant refused an order to euthanize its young cubs.

On Wednesday, the Conservation Officer Service held a press conference to stress that the decision to euthanize wildlife is never taken lightly.

“It’s always a very difficult situation. It’s a situation that no conservation officer wants to be in,” said Chris Doyle, acting deputy for provincial operations.

“Obviously the preference is to keep the bears alive and wild and to prevent conflicts from happening in the first place.”

Doyle said senior Ministry of Environment staff, biologists and wildlife veterinarians together determine how to deal with orphan cubs using a number of assessment tools, including the animals’ health, the level of habituation, and the level of food conditioning.

Doyle said he couldn’t provide any details on Casavant’s suspension, including who was responsible or what the reasons were, but said there were concerns the bears he saved could have been a problem.

“The initial information is that the bears were exposed to conflict, they had some level of habituation and food conditioning,” he said.

“We’re investigating the circumstances of that situation and all the actions that took place and I’m not going to comment further on the personnel issue.”

Rather than kill the cubs, Casavant brought them to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, a rehabilitation facility that regularly takes in bears and releases them back into the wild.

On Tuesday, the facility’s founder Robin Campbell defended Casavant and called his suspension “unbelievable.”

“He’s a family guy and they suspend him without pay,” he said.

The rescued cubs show no apparent signs of habituation and could be released next summer, Campbell added.

Doyle said the public can help prevent conservation officers from having to kill bears and other wildlife by being responsible and managing the garbage and other attractants on their properties.

For more information on reducing conflict being humans and wildlife, visit the Wild Safe B.C. website.

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