Jane Goodall is involved in an innovative and effective conservation drive, by purchasing tickets to shoot bears.
The shooting, we hasten to add, will be with a camera. The Shoot ‘em With A Camera, Not A Gun, campaign is a bid to protect dwindling bear numbers and protect them against an annual deluge of hunters by acquiring as many permits as possible.
Goodall has teamed up with another veteran conservationist, Cynthia Moss, who has committed decades of her life to conserving African wildlife and battling poachers. Moss (78) and Goodall (84) are showing that activism is a genuine lifelong vocation, and are acting as an inspiration for many.
The orginisation offers to cover any administration costs involved with making an application for a hunting license. The more licenses which are assigned to members and supporters of the project, the more bears will survive the season.
This comes as a worthwhile and vital endeavor, following the repealing of several laws which protected bear families, as well as hibernating bears from hunters.
Judy Hofflund, one of the campaign organisers, spoke with The Guardian about her involvement and motivation behind the scheme:
“We just thought it was a really proactive and specific way to get our voices heard. We wanted to protect the grizzlies and we would agree to pay for a tag, do everything legally, and shoot them with a camera and not with a gun.” – Judy Hofflund, Campaign Organiser.
Grizzly bears were taken off the endangered species list this year in the US, something which Hofflund feels is a wrong move. The bear hunt, set to take place in Wyoming later this year, was approved by the State’s wildlife commission unanimously in a vote 7-0.
“The bears are still so vulnerable,” added Hofflund. “It’s crazy that seven people get to decide that these bears get to be hunted so soon. That feels pretty nutty to me.”
According to National Geographic:
“The campaign grew out of a meeting of 19 concerned citizens (16 of them women) and then a group of five who floated the unconventional concept in an ad in the local Jackson Hole newspaper. Ann Smith provided her phone number to answer any questions and she braced for the worse.
“What stunned me is the number of positive calls I’ve received and 85 to 90 percent have come from women,” Smith says. Driving around Jackson Hole in a replica antique pick-up truck, the bed of Smith’s vehicle has a near life-sized stuffed teddy bear in it with a sign that reads “Grizzly Lives Matter.” “No one has called me up on the phone and yelled at me,” she said. I’ve received lots of affirmative horn honks and people giving me thumbs up.”
The clever nature of the campaign has created a new and peaceful protest which could actually make a difference in terms of protecting numbers. My Good Planet shall be reporting on the story as it progresses throughout the year.