Video of B.C. wolf pups now being used in conservation campaign
VICTORIA -- It was an adorable moment, captured on video in a remote location on B.C.’s coast: a pack of wolf pups, howling into the sky in their natural environment.
Now those images are being used to help promote a fundraising campaign to stop the practice of trophy hunting wolves on our coast.
It’s a snapshot of family life in the wild, captured by National Geographic journalists Christina Mittermier and Paul Nicklen. The pair say it was a once in a lifetime experience.
“As the sun was setting, the rest of the pack was coming back,” said Mittermier, National Geographic journalist and co-founder of non-profit society SeaLegacy.
“That’s when the pups started howling and it was about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen,” she said.
Nicklen, another co-founder of SeaLegacy and a National Geographic journalist himself, says that the moment was inspiring.
“When you have such an intimate, powerful moment with an animal like that, you know you’re going to do whatever you can to protect it,” he said.
That’s why this couple has teamed up with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation to use the images in it’s fundraising campaign to stop the practice of wolf trophy hunting in B.C.
“Most people – and I’m talking about 90 per cent, or north of that in British Columbia – are opposed to sport and trophy hunting of carnivores,” said Chris Darimont, science director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and professor at the University of Victoria.
The organization has been undertaking a fundraising effort to raise $650,000 in order to buy the hunting tenures from B.C. guides and outfitters.
“So what we’re doing is removing that opportunity from foreign guided hunters to come to areas of the B.C. coast to kill animals like these coastal wolves,” said Darimont. “Not to put food on their table but to feed their ego.”
Angus Morrison owns and operates Wild Coast Outfitters. After becoming more interested in conservation, it’s his tenure rights that Raincoast is slated to buy.
“It’s a 5,300-square kilometre area of 1.3 million acres in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Morrison. “What I’m giving up is that right. So I’m selling the lease rights for that activity.”
He adds that he chose to sell to Raincoast because of its reputation for wildlife conservation. There was an option to sell to another outfitter, but that didn’t fit with his beliefs anymore, said Morrison.
“Trophy hunting, big game like that for non-residents, it’s not something I’m interested in anymore for sure,” he said.
It’s important to note, hunting in these remote locations will not completely end.
“Residents can still hunt there, it’s Crown land,” said Morrison. “I had the hunting lease to it and it was a lease right to guide non-resident hunters, so that’s what I’m giving up. I’m selling that right to Raincoast.”
For more information on the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, or to make a donation, visit its website here.