A video showing a bear being killed by hunters in Canada is sparking dialogue about the issue of trophy hunting after being viewed more than 2.5 million times.
The video was posted by The Wildlife Defense League, a British Columbia wildlife activist group, on their Facebook page with the intent of showing people what hunting for “conservation” really looks like.
In the very graphic images a group of hunters spot a bear on a mountainside and shoot it. As the animal attempts to flee, they shoot it several more times. Then the wounded animals stumbles down the rocky mountain covered in blood as the hunters joke about how this will mean they have to carry the carcass for a shorter distance.
“Three hundred grizzly bears are shot every year, most of them for fun like in that video, and I don’t believe that’s what British Columbians are about,” said Joe Foy, the national campaign director for The Wilderness Committee, a Canadian non-profit animals’ protection group.
Thousands who have commented on the video and shared it agree yet the provincial ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, while acknowledging the disturbing footage does not show a sign of responsible hunting (if there’s even such a thing), claimed hunting is necessary and legal.
“The government allows a grizzly bear harvest based on the best available science,” said Minister Steve Thomson to a local news station. “The principles behind our decisions are: a reliable population estimate; estimates of sustainable human-caused mortality rates; and deliberately conservative mortality limits.”
Based on the video, though, it’s evident that while hunting is legal, it’s also very cruel.