Today, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted in favor of a proposed trophy hunting season for grizzly bears in the state, subjecting the Great Bear to the first hunt in decades. The proposal allows trophy hunters to kill 23 bears just outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Prior to the vote, the Commission received more than 185,000 comments opposing the proposed hunt.

The Commission approved the hunt despite an ongoing federal lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States and other organizations challenging the removal of Yellowstone grizzly bears from the federal list of threatened species.

Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in reaction:

“The goal of trophy hunters is to slay the world’s rarest and most iconic animals for nothing more than a macabre display of body parts and for bragging rights. It’s shameful that the Commission has chosen to subject Wyoming’s grizzly bears to such a fate. This decision is reckless and ignores the best available science, which shows that grizzly bears need greater, not less, protections if they are to survive. Tribal nations, top biologists, animal welfare advocates and the American public oppose the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, and we implore Gov. Matt Mead to step in immediately and put a stop to this.”

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