Photos of trophy hunters smirking atop of slaughtered polar bears may be another pastime for the rich and bored. The conservation status of polar bears is currently ranked as “vulnerable” or as a threatened species under the United States’ Endangered Species Act as their populations steadily decrease. Still trophy hunters are out killing these majestic animals “for fun.”
Polar bears live in the Arctic and hunt seals from atop the sea ice. Disturbing photos of trophy hunters smiling over bloodied polar bears are being used as advertisement to attract more hunters – prices known to soar over $45,000 for a 12-day arctic hunt with extra costs for each animal killed.
More than 5,000 polar bears have been killed during hunts in recent years. World Wildlife Foundation estimates only 22,000 to 31,000 of the species remain in the wild.
According to the Daily Mail, the wealthy hunters stalk the polar bears in their natural habitats and shoot them with guns. Many times they will remove body parts of the animals and illegally transport the remains back to the United States or United Kingdom to display in their homes.
One hunt provider states they have been killing polar bears for 30 years in hunts and use a “quota system” to limit the number of animals killed. Guides are provided, as are heated tents and camps. In addition, a taxidermist for one’s “trophy” can be provided.
A Change.org petition has already garnered more than 138,000 signatures.
“…Polar bear hunting in the United States (Alaska), Canada, Greenland, Norway (Svalbard) and Russia has cultural and economic importance for some native settlements in the Arctic. Traditional subsistence polar bear hunting – for meat and clothes – has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, transforming an Arctic resource into money. Rising prices of polar bear skins and wealthy trophy hunters have motivated many hunters and communities to participate in polar bear hunting as a commercial industry. Polar bear – once a symbol of power in the old Inuit traditions – is now for many hunters only a symbol of cash.
A large portion of hunters’ payments ends up in the pockets of international outfitters like “Worldwide Trophy Adventures”, never reaching the local Inuit settlements.”
Eduardo Goncalves, a representative of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, states the trend for hunting in the Arctic Circle has been rising.
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