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B.C.'s "Scientific" Grizzly Bear Slaughter

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"Control kills" of grizzlies out of control on central coast
by Raincoast
A disturbing number of grizzly bears are being shot as so-called "control kills" in the Bella Coola valley on the central coast. Records obtained from the provincial Ministry of Environment show that a total of 18 grizzlies were killed as "problem bears" over the course of 2007 and 2008.

The majority of these grizzlies are being destroyed as a result of human behavior - primarily, a failure to secure bear attractants. For example, one local resident left a tub of salmon on his deck and then killed a female grizzly and her two cubs when they tried to eat the fish. Another resident, who was "not into removing" the apples from his tree, killed a grizzly for feeding on the fruit.
"Raincoast Conservation and Get Bear Smart Society are calling on the BC government to reform the existing laws under the Wildlife Act that address the issue of bear attractants to actually make them enforceable. With sufficient government funding for conservation enforcement and bear smart education, as well as a dose of common sense, control kills might become a rare occurrence in the Bella Coola valley and numerous other communities as well," said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation.

Raincoast Conservation: "Get Bear Smart Society"

Government records obtained by wildlife photographer and grizzly bear activist Roberta Olenick reveal that grizzly bear control kills in the Bella Coola valley actually outstripped trophy hunting mortalities during 2007-08. But this isn't the first time the region has experienced control kill issues. In 2005 Raincoast Conservation investigated the shooting of grizzly bears by government officials at the landfill site in Bella Coola. Between 15 and 22 grizzlies were killed there in 2004, their bodies buried along with the garbage.

"People living in bear country need to take responsibility to the most reasonable extent possible for ensuring that their property and their activities are not creating a death trap for bears. The government also needs to help communities in bear habitat implement bear-proof waste management systems. And it needs to reinstate recently slashed provincial funding for bear smart programs. Taking such measures will ensure greater safety for the people, too. Being bear smart is a win-win overall," said
Sylvia Dolson, executive director of Get Bear Smart Society.  
For immediate release: May 8, 2009
Contact: Chris Genovali (Raincoast Conservation) 250-655-1229, ext 225 or
cell 250-888-3579, Sylvia Dolson (Get Bear Smart Society) 604-905-4209,
Roberta Olenick (Never Spook the Animals Wildlife Photography) 604-224-0724
or cell 604-603-1956

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