Famed host of “The Price is Right” and staunch animal rights activist Bob Barker recently came under criticism for his harsh criticism of Ontario, Canada’s pilot spring bear hunt.
Barker was made aware of the proposed spring season by Zoocheck Canada, an animal group he works with, CBC News reports. Barker is most concerned about the orphaning of cubs in what he calls a “barbaric” practice — likening the plan to “legalized slaughter.”
“Everyone, anyone, man, woman, or child, would just be aghast at baby cubs being forced to starve to death. What a way to go,” he said. “What is the hunt about? You put out the bait, you wait until the mother shows up and you kill her. That’s very sportsmanlike, isn’t it?”
Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti said the spring hunt will only allow the hunting of adult male bears, and only two people have been charged with illegal hunting of females and cubs since 1990. Orazietti also pointed out that bear complaints have increased since the province canceled its spring bear season in 1999, and despite non-lethal efforts to deal with bruins, nothing has been effective.
Ray Polsky, director of The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, said most negative comments, like Barker’s, come from people outside Ontario who don’t realize hunting can be used as a tool to keep bear populations in check.
“A lot of them don’t really see bears. They like to come to northern Ontario as their wildlife playground,” he said. “You know, they just like to think that they’re driving through the Toronto Zoo with all the animals around looking at their windows and whatever. They think it’s cute.”