Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
The idea that bears are being farm-raised and permanently embedded with devices that remove their bile, until they die young, perhaps gratefully because of their horribly painful and restricted lives, just so that some person with an ailment fancies it will make him feel better, appalls me to no end.
To have a wild bear shot for fun seems … if not worse, no better.
BBC Nature reports that Hope, a black bear whose birth was filmed (unobtrusively, I must stress) last year and who with her mother was featured in the BBC documentary “The Bear Family and Me,” apparently has been shot dead by a hunter in Minnesota. The fate of the mother, Lily, is unknown.
Of course, we “knew” Hope. Hope had a name. But I can’t help but also think of the nameless thousands of bears (and elephants and lions and whales and …) who are mercilessly slaughtered for no good reason. Sad. Shameful.
Minnesota, which has about 19,000 bears living in the wild, allows licensed hunters to kill them as part of what the state’s Department of Natural Resources calls a “sustainable harvest.” As if black bears were apples to be picked from a tree.
We work on the bear gallbladder issue a lot at Born Free USA, and we will not rest until the international trade in bear parts is stopped. We do this because such deadly exploitation is unnecessary and indefensible. The slaughter of Hope for sport is equally unnecessary and indefensible. Shame on the person whose finger pulled the trigger and took Hope from us all.