Demand that eBay Halt Sales of Trophy Hunting of Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Cougars

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: 5 March 2009

Demand that eBay Halt Sales of Trophy Hunting of Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Cougars

Add your comment here to urge eBay to halt the sale of trophy hunts of grizzly and brown bears, black bears, wolves, cougars, and other large predators on its website.

Images below from Animals in the Wild, Jim Robertson


“Auctioning Off Lives of Animals”
From Big Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance and Raincoast Conservation.

Today, wildlife advocates urged eBay to halt the sale of trophy hunts of grizzly and brown bears, black bears, wolves, cougars, and other large predators on its website. The wildlife groups, including Big Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and Raincoast Conservation, said the online auction and shopping website – known more for its sales of doll collections, used appliances, and jewelry – regularly permits postings of guided trophy hunts of large predators throughout the U.S., Canada, and abroad. In a February 11 letter to eBay CEO John Donahoe, the groups wrote the “company’s promotion of hunting these animals is adding to the many threats these species face.”

“Most people visit eBay to buy a vintage doll, used camera, or lawn furniture. Few eBay users are aware the company also auctions off the lives of some of our planet’s most magnificent animals. eBay has become an online marketplace peddling the slaughter of wolves, bears, and cougars,” said Brian Vincent, Big Wildlife’s Communication Director.

Last year, eBay announced a global ban on sales of ivory products after an International Fund for Animal Welfare report revealed the online auction site was helping to fuel illegal trade in wildlife products. While Big Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and Raincoast said they were encouraged by eBay’s ban on ivory, the organizations said they were shocked to discover the auction site promotes trophy hunts of species such as grizzly and brown bears, wolves, cougars, and lynx. A recent review by Big Wildlife of the eBay website found many hunting sales complete with graphic photos of animals killed for trophies (Scroll down to see sample of trophy hunting items posted on eBay.)

“Have the lives of Canada’s grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores become so cheapened by the purveyors of trophy hunting that selling an opportunity to kill one is now as commonplace as trying to unload a used kitchen appliance or baseball cards on eBay?” said Chris Genovali, Executive Director of the British Columbia based Raincoast Conservation.

The wildlife advocates said expansive trophy hunting of top predators ignores the importance these species play in natural systems. For instance, top predators help regulate the food web, sustain ecological integrity, and preserve species diversity. The disappearance of top predators triggers changes in abundance of other species and the intricate connections among the remaining residents begin to unravel.

The groups have been working to end trophy hunting of grizzly and brown bears in Alaska and British Columbia. The bears face a host of threats, including habitat loss from industrial logging, mining, energy development, and urban sprawl and human-induced mortality from trophy hunting, poaching, and international trade in bear parts. Though grizzlies are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states, they are open targets for trophy hunters in Alaska and Canada. Last year, a record 430 grizzlies were killed, mainly by hunters, in British Columbia. And, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 1,904 grizzly and brown bears were killed by hunters in 2004, the most recent year for which the agency has data. An average of nearly 1,500 brown and grizzly bears are killed by hunters in Alaska each year. Some of those bears are killed by hunters in the Katmai National Preserve, one of the premier bear viewing areas in the world.

"Killing a grizzly just so some trophy hunter can have a bear rug near the fireplace is reprehensible," said Vincent.

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