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B.C. animal rights group offers reward for tips on graphic video of grizzly bear hunt

The Fur-Bearers want to see charges laid against the hunters responsible for the death of this grizzly. 

Trophy hunt, grizzly bear, B.C. hunting, open season, hunting season
This still from a video posted to the Wildlife Defence League's Facebook page shows a grizzly desperately trying to escape two hunters after suffering multiple gun shot wounds.

A Vancouver wildlife advocacy group is willing to reward anyone with information that leads to the prosecution of two hunters whose gruesome video of a grizzly bear kill went viral on Facebook earlier this week. 

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals offered $2,500 in cash on Friday to any tipster whose intelligence leads to the identification, investigation, and charging of the hunters, who put several bullets into the bear and laughed as it tumbled to its death.

“I think the video very clearly depicts this grizzly bear suffering and it really is atrocious behaviour that warrants investigation," said Lesley Fox, executive director for the non-profit, also known as the Fur-Bearers. 

“If we can determine that this happened in B.C., then under the Criminal Code of Canada there is a provision that you can’t cause unnecessary pain to an animal.”

The harrowing two-minute video was posted on Monday by another B.C. environmental group called the Wildlife Defence League, and today has more than 2.6 million views on Facebook. The footage sparked outrage from users all over the world, including hunters who say the perpetrators did not make an "ethical" kill. 

Narrowing down the possibilities

Grizzly hunting is also legal in Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, but based on the mountainous terrain depicted in the video, Fox said it's likely the kill took place in B.C. By offering a reward for more information, the Fur-Bearers hope to gather enough information to open a case with the BC SPCA.

“It would be up to them whether or not charges would be forthcoming," the executive director explained. "Unfortunately, we only have a short clip of this video so it’s important to understand the context in which this was taken.”

An investigation would likely include the seasonality of the kill, the experience level of the hunters, the calibre of bullets they used, and whether or not they had authorization to take down grizzlies. Even if it turns out the hunt was completely lawful, the Fur-Bearers stand by their decision to fork out the cash. 

"I think it’s still worthwhile because it just shows what our government is allowing and what taxpayers are funding," Fox explained. "I think it’s going to be ever more outrageous if it turns out that it’s actually legal and there’s nothing that can be done.”

Anyone with information about the video is asked to call the BC SPCA’s tip line at 1- 855-622-7722. For more information, click here. 

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