Bella Bella (June 12, 2009) -- A grizzly bear trophy hunter was found illegally baiting bears Thursday night in the Giltoyees River Conservancy Area on the B.C. north coast. Captain Eric Boyum, owner of the bear viewing company BC-based Ocean Adventures, discovered the incident while guiding a group of international clients in the remote watershed twenty-five kilometers east of the First Nations village of Hartley Bay. "We were getting settled in for the evening to photograph and watch for bears as they feed on sedges at the waters edge," stated Mr. Boyum reached by satellite phone on the Douglas Channel "when we discovered the individual, along with a large sack of bait being used to lure the bears into shooting range." "We have reported the full details of this sickening discovery to the local RCMP in Kitimat." Under section 33.1 of the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to use bait when hunting bears. "We have been receiving reports all season from frustrated bear viewing businesses, First Nations and members of the public that are fed up with finding trophy hunters in areas where they believed wildlife were protected." stated Ian McAllister of the conservation group Pacific Wild. "However, this blatant illegal poaching - in a park - is one of the more disturbing." The B.C. spring bear trophy hunt season closes on June 15th and it is estimated that between 100 and 150 BC grizzly bears have already been killed for sport in 2009. The BC liberals recently declared 30% of the central and north coast protected but continues to allow trophy hunting of bears in protected areas.
Over 80% of the protected areas and parks in British Columbia allow trophy hunting to occur within park boundaries. A coalition of Coastal First Nations, conservation and animal welfare groups have been working to ban the sport hunt of bears on the BC coast and Haida Gwaii. A 2009 Ipsos-Reid poll shows more than 79 percent of British Columbians want to see protection for bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.
For more information contact: Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild
outbind://85-0000000045F121361680344AADFC01B3B64AAA8D44352600email@example.com For b-roll video and interviews contact PacificWild. http://www.pacificwild.org/