BC wolf culling prompts activism from pop star
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Pacific Wild, a conservation group in BC, has recently received a spotlight on their cause with the help of Miley Cyrus.
The BC government has put a wolf culling plan into motion, a controversial attempt to protect endangered caribou. Forty per cent of the caribou population are reportedly preyed upon by the wolves.
In response, Pacific Wild released a petition to put an end to the culling, which Cyrus has been bringing awareness to.
Cyrus and her brother, Braison Cyrus, visited BC from September 19–20. They spent their time with the province’s wildlife. After spending time whale watching on the central coast, Cyrus spent time with people from the Kitasoo/Xais’Xai First Nation, who are actively working to end grizzly bear hunting. Cyrus then toured the coast with several wolf biologists working in opposition of the wolf cull.
“When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong,” Cyrus said in a video released by Pacific Wild following her tour. “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.”
Earlier in September, as a response to the activism being done by Cyrus, Clark commented to the Canadian Press, “If we need help on our twerking policy in the future, perhaps we can go and seek her advice.” Cyrus’ visit to BC came after these remarks were made toward her.
“I hate [the plan]. I wish this didn’t exist,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, an environmental critic with the BC NDP, to the Vancouver Sun. “Some government science says maybe it will work, but maybe it’s a 50–50 chance. That’s pretty crappy odds for a population of caribou.”
According to the Vancouver Sun, 84 wolves were killed by sharpshooters in helicopters last winter, less than half of the planned 200 wolf target due to a warm winter with bad weather.
This winter, the BC government plans to increase its wolf target to compensate for not achieving their goals from last year.
A similar plan was implemented in Alberta and took place over 10 years. The wolf culling in Alberta ended the lives of over 1,000 wolves, yet ultimately saved the endangered caribou in the area.
Critics of the plan argue that there are other options that the government can explore, such as taking time to foster and build the caribou’s habitat.