B.C. wildlife’s famous pop-star ally, Miley Cyrus, has once again jumped into political debates around how our government treats animals that live in the province’s vast forests.
A new awareness campaign launched by Pacific Wild, a nonprofit environmental group headquartered on Denny Island, features Cyrus singing a spooky cover of the song “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”.
The video calls attention to B.C. grizzly bears and provincial rules that allow people to hunt the animal for food.
“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise,” Cyrus sings acapella over footage of an empty forest.
“Last year 300 grizzly bears were killed in B.C.,” a message reads at the end of the short video. “Let’s end the hunt before they’re gone.”
An accompanying Pacific Wild media release notes that B.C.’s new NDP government is implementing laws to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the province. However, Pacific Wild claims that a provision of the new rules that permit hunting grizzlies for food is being abused and used a “loophole”.
“While British Columbia is working to put new laws into place banning sport hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, hunters throughout the rest of the province can circumvent the law by removing a portion of meat from a bear’s carcass and claiming the kill as food,” the release reads.” “This makes the law challenging to enforce and may lead to increased poaching.
Cyrus, a platinum-selling artist who mostly focuses charity efforts on LGBTQ youth, first took an interest in B.C. wildlife in September 2015.
“Why is the British Columbia government killing our wild wolves?” reads a message she posted on Instagram that month. The picture received more than 165,000 likes within 24 hours.
That initial post was followed by several others. Then, later that month, Cyrus travelled to B.C. for a trip hosted by Pacific Wild that saw her visit a forested region of the central coast of B.C. where she spent two days with scientists and First Nations people. Again, her message focused on wolves and a cull that was underway that the government said was required to protect caribou populations.
“This reason why I am here is I want to see the wolf cull ended,” Cyrus said in a September 2015 video produced by Pacific Wild. “When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong. But after this visit, I know science is on my side, not just on the wolf cull, but also on the trophy hunt issue. Both are unsustainable and both are horrific. Both have to end.”
At the time, then-premier Christy Clark was not receptive to Cyrus’s input.
“If we ever need help with our twerking policy, we’ll go to [Ms. Cyrus],” Clark said according to the Globe and Mail.
In today’s Pacific Wild media release, executive director Ian McAllister asks for donations for a “public education efforts, advocacy and conservation campaigns”.
“The grizzly bear is the second slowest reproducing land mammal in North America, one that’s threatened throughout much of its natural range and habitat,” he said quoted there. “We’re hoping this campaign will prompt the government to close this loophole and help the government hear the opinion of over 90 per cent of British Columbians who wish to see a total and complete end to this barbaric hunt.”More