Zoocheck, a respected international animal advocacy organization, was joined by renowned biologist Dr. John Beecham in issuing a press release to urge Yellowstone National Park and the US government to embrace the proven track record bear rehabilitation.
As Ghost Bear Photography has reiterated since the tragic, fatal grizzly attack in Yellowstone several weeks ago, we disagree with the decision to kill the sow involved, but simply find it indefensible to send the now orphaned, female cubs to a zoo in Toledo when it remains possible to rehabilitate the bears for re-release into the wild.
With more than 190,000 people from around the world having made their voice heard in support of returning these grizzly cubs to the wild, we stand strongly with Zoocheck and Dr. Beecham in urging authorities to re-think this case and change policies moving forward.
Please share this release and keep making your voice heard. This issue is not over and we still have time to make a difference in the lives of these animals.
For Immediate Release
August 27, 2015
Experts say, captivity no option, return Yellowstone grizzly bear cubs to wild
International outrage erupted when female grizzly bear named Blaze was killed by Yellowstone National Park officials orphaning her two cubs. Instead of being rehabilitated for release to the wild, the cubs are reportedly going to be sent to the Toledo Zoo, an unnecessary move that would sentence them to a life of confinement and boredom.
Canada and several European and Asian countries allow the rehabilitation and release of orphaned grizzly bear cubs, a process that has an established track record of success. Many US states, including Montana, allow the rehabilitation of black bears.
“The authorities claim they’re interested in grizzly bear welfare and conservation, but they’re unwilling to use tested, proven methods to keep these cubs in the wild, where they belong,” says Julie Woodyer, Campaign Director for Zoocheck. “Research conducted by Dr. John Beecham, a world leading authority in bear rehabilitation, and his colleagues reveals that the vast majority of rehabilitated bears avoid humans after release and integrate successfully into the wild. Their research clearly shows that releasing rehabilitated bear cubs is a defensible management alternative to sentencing them to a life in captivity.”
A petition asking state authorities to allow the cubs to enter rehabilitation, where they can be assessed for release potential, has been signed by more than 190,000 people so far and the numbers are growing daily.
“Hundreds of bears have been successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild worldwide, including some in British Columbia, Canada and more than 60 grizzly bears in Europe. There is no reason for not allowing the Yellowstone cubs the same opportunity in the USA,” reports Dr. John Beecham, a bear expert with 43 years experience in bear rehabilitation. “In addition to the obvious animal welfare issues here, rehabilitation programs can provide a valid conservation benefit for small isolated populations, by putting to use proven techniques for successfully raising and releasing orphaned cubs.”
For more information contact:
Julie Woodyer, Zoocheck
ONE FINAL NOTE:
We’ll continue to keep you posted as news is made available to us. While we continue to work with Zoocheck and behind the scenes to advocate for policy change, we appreciate your patience while we pause posting our usual images and stories. We will resume our regular posts soon, as we know that the motivation for advocating for wildlife and wildlands stems from the joy found in nature. And, after all, sharing that joy is our mission.
Simon & Jill