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Canadians Are Suing to Stop the Killing of Wolves From Helicopters

Environment groups are taking their fight to stop British Columbia’s wolf cull to court, arguing it violates proper wolf management techniques.
January 20, 2016, 9:17pm
Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Environment groups are taking their fight to stop British Columbia's wolf cull to court, arguing it violates proper wolf management techniques.

Last year, the province announced a five-year plan to cull nearly 200 wolves in its northern regions to protect the endangered mountain caribou population. There's an estimated 70 mountain caribou left in the area. Though development has been a leading cause for the decimation of the population over the years, provincial environment authorities blame the wolves for thwarting efforts to recover the species. CBC News reports that wolves killed one caribou and three calves after they were released from government captivity in July.


According to figures released by the province, 84 wolves were killed between January and April of 2015. In 2006, the government in Alberta carried out a mass wolf cull, which resulted in the death of nearly 1,000 animals.

The groups, Valhalla Wilderness Society and Pacific wild, have reportedly filed for a judicial review of the culling.

Wildlife groups and celebrities alike have criticized BC's culling plan ever since it was announced, arguing that it's ineffective and cruel. BC native Pamela Anderson wrote an open letter to her fans asking the province's government to cease the killings.

A Pacific Wild petition swelled to more than 200,000 signatures after pop star Miley Cyrus took to Instagram to urge her followers to sign it.

"We (humans) are over-populating while more animals everyday go into extinction!" she wrote in a post from last September. "We can't let another winter pass us by without stopping this mass extermination!"

Cyrus flew to BC the following week to raise awareness about the wolf cull. Photos posted on social media show Cyrus posing with locals and going on boat wilderness tour.

Miley Cyrus rallies fans against B.C. wolf cull (with video) - — Regulator Watch (@RegWatchCanada)January 14, 2016

Hi — Michelle Mungall (@michellemungall)October 1, 2015

"Spirit Bear Lodge welcomes Miley Cyrus to our traditional territory to help protect wolves and bears," a tour company wrote on its Facebook Page. "You rock Miley! Thanks for your support. The kids loved singing with you and showing you our bears."


But the province's premier, Christy Clark, wasn't so thrilled with Cyrus' support, saying that she ought stick to twerking instead of talking about environmental policies.

"I want to make sure that Miley knows that I'm willing to sit down and twerk it out," Christy said at a press conference in September.

Pacific Wild estimates that 500 wolves will be culled under the government's plan, at a cost of $2.2 million.

"The BC government is pandering to industrial interests, endangering the few remaining mountain caribou, and sacrificing the wolves in the process," Gabriel Wildgen, the group's campaign manager at Humane Society International, a group supporting Pacific Wild's claim, said in a statement.

"We hope the court will rule in favor of BC's wildlife and, in doing so, encourage the province to enact and enforce the habitat protections the caribou really need."

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Photo via Flickr