It's hard to imagine the cruelty of the Russian winter bear hunt.
A mother bear is violently shaken from her winter hibernation, forced out of her den, and shot by a wealthy trophy hunter. She dies bravely protecting her den, while inside her tiny and defenseless cubs are left motherless. It's heartbreaking to think of the cubs orphaned and left to slowly freeze to death.
Each year, den hunting leaves up to 4,000 cubs motherless. Some of these homeless cubs end up as pets to local villagers, while others are taken to entertain tourists or be eaten in restaurants. Most are abandoned and left to die.
Brown bears in Russia are one of the last remaining healthy brown bear populations in the world -- Tell Russia to outlaw den hunting.
Dear President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin,
Den hunting, which allows wealthy hunters to rouse bears from hibernation and kill them, must be outlawed.
In many places in Europe, brown bears are extinct in the wild. The bears being hunted in Russia are from the last healthy brown bear population in the world.
There have already been bans on den hunting in three Russian districts. Now it's time to make the same ban nation wide.
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Please work with the Russian Parliament to end the cruel practice of den hunting permanently.
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