Protecting the Vulnerable
© North County Times
The infant bear cub.
Warning: dangerous video. Your heart may melt more than just a little watching the footage of a baby bear cub, rescued on a road in southern California and then taken to refuge at The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif.
In the video, you'll see not only a cub who is beyond adorable, but also more than just a little needy. She was born to bond with her mother, and she is unrelenting in her efforts to get closer to her surrogate human mother. Despite their own instincts to bring him close, the staff at our center are keeping some distance to avoid human habituation. If the bear cub becomes too accustomed to people, that would make her release back into the wild—some months down the line when she can fend for herself—all but impossible.
© The HSUS/Marcus Gyger
A seal pup, photographed just days before the 2008 hunt.
She's every bit as fetching as the baby seals in Canada, who have been featured on our website now for several weeks. These babies miss their mothers, too. It's almost unthinkable that any decent person would harm any creature so vulnerable.
That's the emerging consensus world opinion, and the sealing industry and its enablers are scrambling to defend and justify their conduct. Yesterday, the Premiers of Newfoundland and Nunavut proposed banning the use of clubs, or hakapiks, to kill seals. They are now in full panic mode over the European Environment Commissioner's proposal to ban the import of seal skins from any hunt that is inhumane. They suggest just shooting the pups as an alternative, even though the loss rate is so high because the animals may be struck and lost in the water.
At the end of the day, the government officials are defending something that just does not pass the test of civilized comportment. It's archaic and inhumane, and their vain attempts to put a nice sheen on their killing tools won't sway the public.
Killing a helpless baby seal is an indefensible action, no matter the instrument of torment and death.