Photo of the Week: Protect Polar Bears from Trophy Hunters
Photo of Week is a feature that highlights the work IFAW does around
the world everyday to rescue orphaned, injured, or mistreated animals.
Drowning polar bears have come to represent the face of the global warming threat. But in order to have a true chance at saving these amazing animals from the devastating impacts of climate change, we need to save them from trophy hunters first.
Numerous studies have now shown the effects of warming temperatures on declining polar bear populations and ice habitats -- from drowning and starving to reports of cannibalism among bears. Sport hunters are not allowed to kill polar bears in the US. But thanks to a loophole in US law, US hunters can apply for a permit to kill a polar bear in Canada and bring their "trophy"- a polar bear's head or hide - back with them. With polar bears more in danger than ever, it is time to close the trophy hunting loophole.
Polar bears are the only marine mammals that are allowed to be trophy hunted and brought into the U.S. by sport hunters. Even if polar bears are listed on the endangered species list, it does not mean that the sport hunting and importing from Canada as trophies will end. In fact, the government has stated on its website that if the species is listed as threatened, the Service would work with the Marine Mammal Commission, Congress, and all interested parties to consider a special rule allowing the continued import of trophies from healthy bear populations!
Please contact your federal representative and senators and urge them to support The Polar Bear Protection Act. Ask them to close the loophole that allows for sport hunters to kill polar bears and bring their hides and heads into the US.
The absurdity of hunting polar bears, with all of the other threats that they face, should end.