Wildlife photographer raises concern with photos of emaciated grizzlies
North Island residents and wildlife observers are expressing concern about the condition of grizzly bears in the Broughton Archipelago.
Wildlife photographer Rolf Hicker posted photos of emaciated grizzly bear sows and their cubs on his Facebook pages last week, providing images to go along with reports from guides in the area.
The photos were taken in the Knight Inlet area, Hicker said, speaking to CTV News Vancouver Island at his home in Port McNeill.
"I know of a few bears which, in my humble opinion, have got absolutely no chance to survive the winter, if they even make it to the winter," the photographer said.
Hicker's posts -- on both his professional and personal pages -- have generated thousands of shares and reactions on Facebook.
He said he's received a variety of responses to the posts, with many people sharing his horror at the bears' condition, but others alleging the photos are faked.
"I'm not here to point fingers," Hicker said. "I'm here to show you reality. These are facts. The pictures I took a couple of weeks ago. It's the Knight Inlet. We can't wait another three years or four years. Now is a dire situation."
On Sunday, a group of volunteers took action, planning to deliver 500 donated pink salmon into the region to help feed the grizzlies.