I was saddened to read a recent article about modern-day trophy hunters who pay $35,000 to go on polar bear hunts. Perhaps I’m naive, but isn’t this illegal, and if not, why not?
The International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears protects polar bears from random, unregulated sport hunting and outlaws hunting of the bears from aircraft and icebreakers. I do understand limited hunting of polar bears by native people. But wealthy sportsmen being allowed to hunt a potentially vulnerable species? I don’t understand this.
I wish these wealthy trophy-hunters would buy brand-new Nikons and go on one of the Arctic expeditions offered by wildlife groups, where they could photograph and admire these magnificent animals—and not kill them. The National Wildlife Federation has many such expeditions. Another outfit called Natural Habitat Adventures offers several polar bear tours. Or for a somewhat more affordable Arctic adventure, they might consider Cruise North Expeditions, which is owned and operated by the Inuit of Northern Quebec.
To learn more about polar bears, check out the Polar Bears International site.