Republican Fatwa

by Stephen Capra

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.Winston Churchill

The election that could not happen has occurred. Republicans were handed a miracle victory by the caliph known as Trump whose singular purpose appears to be the destruction of democracy. Like Jim Jones, the rogue minister who famously had his entire flock drink poisoned Kool-Aid, Trump has his sights on the destruction of America and the world as we know it. But it’s not Trump alone, it is the raging force of evil that defines the Republican Party and their hate and loathing for the freedom that is our natural world. With this unimaginable victory, they now will set their sights as Ronald Reagan, Bush one and two did, but with a zeal that we have likely never witnessed on the destruction of wildness. We must build the trenches and fortify our souls, for this is a fight to the death for all we love and understand. It is a fight for our planets survival.

In the days since the implosion of the Democratic Party, we are beginning to understand our new reality through the fog of war, Republican operatives are moving quickly to get a cabinet in place and move their radical and devastating agenda into the mainstream.

Trump is moving with haste to remove America from the global agreement to limit climate change, calling climate change a hoax. In quitting the Paris agreement that has been ratified by close to 200 nations, America risks setting a new precedent and unraveling the very accord, which while not perfect, is the linchpin for saving the planet.

Cabinet specific:

Secretary of Interior: Lucas oil founder, Forrest Lucas has had the inside track. Lucas has paid for films that support puppy mills, elephants in circuses and would likely set the tone as an Oil Executive on the agencies priorities on climate change. Sara Palin (drill, baby drill!) has been a name many are talking about; Trumps sons, the elephant killers and gun lovers, have also been mentioned. If this occurs, Democrats MUST Filibuster the nomination and try and avoid cloture, which would require 60 votes. No nomination is more vital to our National Parks, Wilderness Areas, and Wildlife Refuges and for protecting wildlife than this choice. Frankly, Democrats should simply fight any appointment for the duration of this administration, taking a page from Republicans.

Energy: Trump is looking at fracking billionaire Harold Hamm who Trump greatly admires. He has made clear he wants an energy secretary that will slash regulations on energy producers and open more lands for development.
Department of Agriculture, which controls our National Forests, could be run according to Politico by one of two men: bio-fuels Baron Bruce Ramstetter, a close friend of Chris Christie, or Texas Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller who earned his credibility with Mr. Trump by calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” on his twitter account during the campaign. He also gave amnesty to a cupcake to protest healthy food for school children. Trump has also created an Agriculture advisory committee. It includes as my fried Melissa Smith has pointed out, members like MI Sen. Mike Green, who said in a committee meeting on wolf hunting that, “he knows several people that have been eaten by wolves.” He went on to say-“Let’s get those public lands opened up to grazing, get rid of those predators now.”
Republicans will try to end the Environmental Protection Agency, remove endless regulations for Power Plants and destroy funding for alternative energy development, while handing out even more subsidies for coal, nuclear and oil. Climate Change will likely be ignored, treaties ignored and more misinformation will fill the airwaves to a nation of people increasingly removed from the natural world.

Republicans in the west, primarily Utah, Idaho and Wyoming will push for the selling off of public lands and move aggressively to end, once and for all, the Presidents use of the Antiquities Act, which has been responsible for protecting so many important land and marine environments since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. The reality is, they control all three branches of government and only the filibuster and tremendous public outcry can stop their rampage.
Trump has been elected in a unique and powerful manner. He is not in truth beholden to either party, but he needs the support of one to move his agenda. In two years when the party that does not control the Presidency often makes big gains in congress, Democrats must defend a staggering 25 Senate seats, many in states Trump won, making taking control of the Senate in 2018 difficult.

Rarely have we faced such long odds and the prospect of such damage to our sacred trust. While historically we have been able to fight off many of these assaults, republicans have learned from the days of Jim Watt and will likely come with an immense war chest, courtesy of the Koch Brothers, Big Oil and their friends in the coal and nuclear industries.

The conservation community must move aggressively and Democrats, including those 25 up in 2018 must hold firm, this goes beyond one person’s reelection, this is a fight for our children, a fight for sanity! Democrats have been far too timid on conservation issues, voting correctly, but doing so without the emotion, drive and confidence that show on a host of other domestic issues.

Wolves, bears and so many species that define wildness will be ground zero in the rancher’s wish list, look for funding for Wildlife Services to jump, a push to further control or denude the Bureau of Land Management. More illegal actions like the Bundys and threats to government control of public lands will likely come from fringe groups emboldened by the recent acquittals and Republicans fanning the flames of their illegal actions.

More than anything this band of Republicans, led by speaker Ryan, encased with the dreadful ignorance of Rep. Steve Pearce and his band of yahoos from the west must be crushed and publicly shamed in such a forceful manner, that they retreat from their continue assault on the liberty and beauty we all enjoy with our public lands and wildlife.

To see this as anything short of a declaration of war is to be blissfully ignorant. The actions of this congress and our newly elected President are designed to break the power and spirit of conservation in America. To hasten the demise of our planet and the many species which depend on our decisions for life. To turn wildness into roads, oceans into acid, to drown the great bears of the north, to fill more lands and waters with the suffering of animals that ask why?
The answer is to enrich a few, to poison the many, to ignore the obvious. We have elected a man who does not respect people and walks through life devoid of morality. How can we anticipate any more for the environment and the diversity it defines in his coming Presidency?

For the planet to survive, we cannot regress every four or eight years. We need both parties, not just one to embrace the environment. That is going to require a revolution in the republican party of today. Without it we are destine to repeat ourselves in cycles of destruction, which is the definition of insanity.

Trump has fooled us before and may again: I hope so. But the lineup he is creating is perhaps the most life-threatening for the planet we have witnessed. We as a nation have hit the bottom, so now we can begin the steady climb back up. We begin with an understanding that we must fight. All of us together for the land, the great animals that define our lives, for the freedom that is wildness and the planet we all cherish. Evil cannot win. But we must be strong, loud and demand justice if we are to prevail.

That is our fatwa for the earth.

So what can be done?

  • It begins with a coordinated and aggressive push to educate the public and to make the environment a key issue with the new Administration. That will not be easy given the array of disturbing issues we face with this President and congress;
  • Protest, often and loudly;
  • The use of the filibuster will be essential;
  • President Obama must take the last days of his Presidency to make the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a new National Monument. Ditto for the Bears Ears in Utah. If he does not, the refuge in particular will be lost to oil and gas development, destroying what many call America’s Serengeti. He would also be wise to look at another marine environment that could be threatened by drilling;
  • Fight on a local level;
  • Visits to all members of congress and send strong words to Democrat members will be essential to make sure they do not “trade off” environmental concerns for other legislative initiatives;
  • Accept no compromise. These Republicans are trying to destroy our public lands, this is treason;
  • Demand more from the Media. It is not enough to show both sides, you must do the hard work of telling the truth to viewers, readers and listeners;
  • Become a voice for wildness;
  • Give until it hurts: we need support.

What will Bold Visions Do?

  • We are going to be the strongest voice possible to fight this Administration;
  • We will continue to get out to the public to educate them about the reality of a Trump Administration;
  • We will push the media and have our voice be heard;
  • We will continue to write and produce films that are thought provoking and work to protect our lands, waters and wildlife;
  • We will meet with elected officials to press for environmental and wildlife sanity;
  • We will continue to come up with creative ways to voice our opposition to the undermining of our wildest public lands;
  • We will work with other conservation groups in a unified manner to fight this battle;
  • We will never surrender.

A Win for Alaska Wildlife

03 August 2016

New rule from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps protect carnivores from aggressive hunting on national wildlife refuges in Alaska

Wolves, bears and other carnivores are too frequently threatened by government policies aimed at artificially increasing populations of moose, deer and other game species for hunting. In Alaska, even living on a national wildlife refuge could not prevent predators from being shot from a plane or killed in their dens in the name of boosting prey populations. Until today.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stood strong for iconic wildlife today with a new rule to conserve native carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The rule forbids certain aggressive hunting practices like aerial gunning, trapping bears, killing mother bears and cubs, and killing denning wolves with pups. These tactics have no place on the 16 federally protected wildlife refuges in Alaska, which exist first and foremost to conserve species in their natural diversity. This is a huge win that will help protect the ecological integrity of these public lands, and ensure that our national wildlife refuges are managed for all wildlife.

Stand Strong with FWS

Special interests in Congress are already advancing measures to block this important new rule. Show your support by telling FWS you stand with their decision to protect iconic predators by preventing these inhumane killings.

Show your support »

Carnivores are critically important to wild lands, and help keep ecosystems in balance. Alaska’s national wildlife refuges span more than 76 million acres and encompass some of the largest and most remote wildlife habitats remaining in the United States. These vast areas are ideal for wide-ranging and large animals like wolves and bears.

Anti-wildlife representatives in Congress and Alaska’s state government have been fighting this rule since it was first proposed in January, and will surely continue to do so. We commend the Fish and Wildlife Service for finalizing this important rule, which upholds bedrock environmental laws like the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act and the Wilderness Act. This action sends a clear message that science, not politics, governs our public lands.

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
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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

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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).

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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.