The Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Big Wildlife, and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance have asked eBay to stop the sale of guided trophy hunts for top predators like bears, wolves, cougars, and wolverines.
While most guided hunts currently listed on eBay are for animals like deer, elk, and geese, some auctions for predators are available, including a hunt for Alaskan brown bears with a going price of $5,100 with four days to go.
The groups note that the value of predators in ecosystems is often ignored by trophy hunters who seek out the largest animals to kill.
“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 kitchen appliance or baseball cards on eBay?” asked Chris Genovali of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
eBay, which recently banned the sale of ivory products, has a history of listening to concerned organizations and says they will listen to the complaints. They’ve already banned bear, marine mammal, and mountain lion “products” and “canned hunts,” where animals are already confined in a certain area when hunted.
“We look forward to reviewing the communication sent to us by Big Wildlife, Raincoast Conservation, and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance in regards to the sale of guided trophy hunts, and are in the process of opening a dialogue with them to understand their most recent concerns,” said an eBay representative. “We are always open to working with NGOs with expertise in these areas.”
Brown bears are of particular concern to conservationists in Alaska and Canada. The bears suffer from habitat loss, decline in salmon stocks, and hunting; around 1,500 brown and grizzly bears are killed in Alaska each year.
In related news, Russian authorities reported today that 3,500 bear cubs are orphaned every year due to their mothers being killed in trophy hunts. Some hunters will even kill the mother bears during the winter while they hibernate in their dens. Many of the baby bears die of starvation.Photo Credit: Marshmallow on Flickr under Creative Commons license.