Thursday, October 18, 2018

‘Shoot’em with a Camera:’ New campaign backed by legendary conservationists to stop Wyoming’s grizzly bear hunt

The campaign, which stated on social media on July 8, was a creative action to stop the hunt and rather get activists in the field and "hunt" with a camera rather than with a gun.

Image Credit: Tom Mangelsen

Jane Goodall, well-known conservationist, among many other animal rights activists are taking part in a campaign called “Shoot’em with a Camera,” a creative action to “thwart” Wyoming’s first grizzly bear hunt in 44 years. The state will issue 22 permits for the fall hunt, and with more than 7,000 applicants who applied by Monday’s deadline, its unsure how many were awarded to conservationists over hunters.

“We’ve got at least 1,000, maybe 2,000 – maybe more,” Lisa Robertson, co-founder of conservation group Wyoming Untrapped, said to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “People signed up. Their whole families signed up. We had some big heavy hitters sign up as well.”

The campaign, which started on social media on July 8, was a creative action to stop the hunt and rather get activists in the field and “hunt” with a camera rather than with a gun. “If you are chosen and meet the requirements the funds will cover the necessary costs to participate in the field with a camera,” the campaign’s GoFundMe page said.

Last June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced “it was removing the Yellowstone-area grizzly population from the list of species protected by the Endangered Species Act,” Common Dreams reported, which ultimately led to the state’s wildlife commissions vote to allow the hunt.

Aside from Jane Goodall, a legendary elephant conservationist, Cynthia Moss, and dozens of scientists oppose the grizzly bear hunt.

“To trophy hunt such a vulnerable population is ethically irresponsible, unwarranted, and not in the public’s interest,” scientists wrote in a letter to Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Matt Mead in April.

The hunt, which is set to take place from Sept. 1 through November 15, faces a legal battle in a federal court in Missoula, Montana. A hearing set for August will decide if the “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service erred in removing the grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection,” Common Dreams reported. And if so, the hunt will be cancelled altogether.

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