Grade eight students from a Victoria middle school and an animal protection group are calling on the B.C. government to ban trophy hunting of grizzly bears ahead of the 2017 hunting season.

Humane Society International/Canada and students from Glenlyon Norfolk School held a press conference at the Fairmont Empress on Tuesday to highlight the urgent need to protect B.C. wildlife.

The two groups want the government to implement an immediate moratorium before the hunting season begins on Apr. 1, followed by a permanent ban.

According to the animal protection group, over 90 per cent of British Columbians are supportive of the ban.

“B.C. is a province that celebrates grizzly bears and that profits far more from eco-tourism and bear viewing opportunities,” campaign manager, Gabriel Wildgen, said. “We’re hoping that they [the Liberals] wake up and take action and protect these majestic creatures that are so iconic to this province and this country.

Over the past year the Victoria students have been passionately advocating for an end to the trophy hunting of bears. 

“Having this creature gone solely for someone’s ego and to have their head on a wall is absolutely horrendous,” said grade eight student Marisa Smith.

Last week Humane Society International/Canada released an action alert to its supporters across the country, enabling Canadians to write directly to the B.C. government asking for a ban.

The organization says more than 10,000 people have already written to premier Christy Clark.

Justice for BC Grizzlies, a group dedicated to education and advocacy for grizzly bears, will hold a rally at the B.C. Legislature on Apr. 1 to protest the beginning of the hunting season.