Can We Judge Doctor Palmer?

One African Lion killed caused a storm of outrage. What should the killing of 300 Grizzly bears cause?

One African Lion killed caused a storm of outrage. What should the killing of 300 Grizzly bears cause?

It was not long after I wrote about Puma concolor, that we learn of the episode of Cecil, the Lion killed by the intrepid Dr Palmer.A lot has been written about this shameful event.I read in the Globe and Mail, July 31, the commentary of a Tony Keller.  I don't think anyone could write better chosen words than Mr Keller.I could only clap my hands.

Everyone who can read should make it their business to Google search, read and seriously consider the issue as presented by Mr. Keller..

A virtual storm came down on Dr Palmer. He was even faced with the possibility of extradition to Africa. His trial, if it happened, could have been a most serious outcome.[for him]

I have not lost sight of the "big picture". There are many "Dr Palmers".There have been many "Cecils".

In British Columbia alone, a "Cecil" occurs every year.Repeated hundreds of times.Compared to the Palmer/Cecil incident,which caused a tsunami of outrage, this equally senseless killing doesn't seem to ripple the water.Legally killed, by licensed hunters, in BC last year:    About 300 grizzly bears. It is easier to find how many licenses were issued [1,600 for Grizzlies] than it is to get an exact number on how many were actually killed. Government websites like to talk about how careful they are to prevent an excessive "harvest" of Grizzlies.

"Harvest?"  We are talking about Corn?

The government of British Columbia has a "hunter recruitment" program, the goal being to register 100,000 resident hunters. Given that 97,000 hunting licenses were sold last year, it looks like the target has been reached. There is a program to encourage teens to "take up the sport", if you can believe that.

Our Provincial government licenses trophy hunters, and likes to call the annual kill an important part of wildlife "management".

Federal government,Provincial government, doesn't matter. They are all politicians, cut from the same cloth. Make legal an activity which you can license and pull in $12,000,000 revenue. Take a stance to abolish an activity when you think that the balance of public opinion will side with you and gain your party some votes.

Humans do very good and very bad stuff. Killing wildlife just for the excitement is an activity that falls into the very bad category. Guides and outfitters feed off this activity and governments endorse this most reprehensible of human behavours. Just in the past 50 years we humans are starting to make some progress with a few of our worst activities. We in British Columbia still have considerable wilderness. We have not yet killed off everything just for the "rush" or because it seems to threaten us or cause inconvenience.  Now is the time to show that we do have an intellect after all.

What price Life?

Wolverine: To legally kill you will need $3.00

Wolverine: To legally kill you will need $3.00

Now we have a new government. The NDP. They promised, during the election campaign, to end the Grizzly hunt. And so they have.
Apparently there will be one last hunting season, this November. Why is there one more? From the Bear's point of view it would be just like being a soldier killed on the last day of the war.
What is for sure, is that the Grizzly Bear Trophy hunt is over. No bear will end up as a rug, after this November.

OK, the Grizzly hunt will end. Apparently, the Grizzly enjoyed some special status. Not so, the Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat,Elk, Cariboo and Moose.An animal killed as a trophy is the most despicable act. See those video clips of the last agonal spasms, then the limp body tumbling down the slope, hear the celebratory whoops of the killer. Listen to the congratulations. See the grinning poser with the prime of life he has just extinguished.

To kill a wild animal you need a license. I suspect the cost of each species license reflects the value that our authorities placed on the value of that animal. Let's look at what the species licenses will cost the British Columbia resident who feels the urgeto go out to the woods to kill something.

Cougar $24, Lynx $7, Elk $20, Cariboo $16. Mountain Goat and Bighorn Sheep are more pricey, at $32 and $48, respectively.
If you want to kill a Wolverine, you need to find $3 in change.

This is the value we place on our wildlife? You think these licenses are "cheap"? But does raising the price of murder make it better?
For the price of a Whitespot snack [‘burger,chips and large coke] you can kill a Bull Elk in its prime.

But would it be any better to make the price of a license to kill a Bighorn Sheep $32,000 instead of $32? Actually, no. To me, it would make the activity even more ugly.

Evolution has given Homo sapiens a very good brain. We need to use this brain. I saw the cover page of the National Post this morning.
The banner says, "Bring Intelligence to your Home". I am not sure where that is leading, but we do need to display some intellect.

Whooping and hollering, pumping the fist, giving the "high fives“ while an animal with a mortal wound convulses and gasps is not anything ressembling intelligence.