American pop star Miley Cyrus was in B.C. last weekend, lending her voice – spoken and sung – to the fight against the province's wolf cull.
The five-year plan, aimed to protect the number of caribou herds by killing its hunters, was responsible for 84 wolf deaths in B.C. in its first year.
"The program to shoot wolves from the air was a last resort after targeted hunting and trapping of wolves proved inadequate, sometimes splitting up wolf packs and increasing predation of caribou," reported Tom Fletcher, in his first year summary for Black Press, published in April.
And Cyrus was in B.C. to protest the program in-person, after first publishing her disapproval with the wolf cull on her Instagram page last week (photo below). The singer met with a "local wildlife conservationist" group called Pacific Wild, and spent two days meeting with other opponents of the plan.
She didn't see any wolves on her trip however, said Pacific Wild's director.
"When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong," said Cyrus, in a press release issued by Pacific Wild. "But after this visit, I know science is on my side, not just on the wolf cull, but also on the trophy hunt issue. Both are unsustainable and both are horrific. Both have to end."
In the same release, Pacific Wild says it opposes the government's wolf cull because it is "ineffective" and avoids "the real issue – habitat loss".
On Saturday, Cyrus also went on a tour of the Great Bear Rainforest with Spirit Bear Adventures and Spirit Bear Lodge, adventuring through Kitasoo/Xaixais territory and specifically to the community of Klemtu.
The 84 wolves killed by the province's cull were from another region of the province entirely – 11 were killed in the South Selkirk mountains and 73 were killed in the South Peace region.
"I may have left B.C. for now but my heart is still very much there," Cyrus wrote, in an Instagram post Monday. "On this adventure something was confirmed that us lovers of nature and all that it brings to this planet already know but unfortunately so many don't understand... WE ARE THESE ANIMALS."
Cyrus's mission echoes that of another celebrity, B.C.'s own Pamela Anderson, who has called the wolf cull a "very cowardly way to hunt." Anderson also backed up Cyrus for her environmental aim: "Someone in her position doesn't necessarily have to care about the environment," said Anderson. "And the fact that she's passionate about something else (other than herself) is such a great role model to kids."
B.C. Premier Christy Clark already responded to Cyrus earlier in September, saying, "If we need help on our tweaking policy in the future, perhaps we can go and seek her advice."
Her reply to both Cyrus and Anderson: "Both Pamela Anderson and Miley Cyrus, when they open up their closets, they probably don't find a lot of clothes."
She added: "We're trying to defend an endangered species and population of caribou that will go utterly extinct in British Columbia if we don't do this... I just hope that they really work a little to understand the issue." (Clark quotes via CTV News)
The B.C. government went forward with a similar helicopter-conducted wolf cull in the 1980s, but it was shut down due to public outcry and pressure from protestors.
VIDEO: Miley Cyrus sings 'The Challenge Song' while visiting B.C. and Spirit Bear Lodge
I may have left B.C. for now but my heart is still very much there.... Along with the grizzlies that when I first locked eyes with changed me forever & the wolves that sing such beautiful songs calling out for one another.... But the hearts of everyone in this photo (John & Mary Theberge, Carl Safina, Ian McAllister, April Bencze, Douglas Neasloss, and my brother Braison) the people of First Nations and caring humans of B.C. will be broken if these amazing creatures are no longer apart of the #GreatBearRainforest... On this adventure something was confirmed that us lovers of nature and all that it brings to this planet already know but unfortunately so many don't understand... WE ARE THESE ANIMALS (if you ever see the bottom of a bears feet as he climbs to shore after catching breakfast you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, I also learned on this trip I have quite the grizzly foot fetish!) .... What separates us from the animals and the land we want to protect is our vocal ability and freedom of speech. It is our responsibility to give the GBR & all the animals it provides a home for a voice! Not only have I fallen head over heels in love with BC but I am completely enamored with @pacificwild and all they do to protect this magnificent place #savebcwolves #stoptrophyhunting
I ask so much of my fanz, friendz, & family... But I am shameless when it comes to making changes in a world that at times needs to reevaluate its morals when dealing with kindness and compassion towards animals , humanity , and the environment. None of us are perfect! A lot of times our actions are just a result of the unknown BUT I / we are all evolving more everyday (please always lemme know YOUR passions as well I love learning more about what is going on in the world.... half of the solution is understanding the problem) That's why it is all of our responsibility to bring light into the darkness! I am not asking for $ or much of your time just your signature so the government will stop killing these beautiful creatures (which if money is any motivation, over 2 million dollars will go into cruelly murdering the wild wolves) ! We (humans) are over populating while more animals everyday go into extinction! A life with more humans and less animals sounds like a very sad planet.... Sometimes I wish I could move to the moon & take them all with me... Love you all dearly ❤️❤️❤️❤️ take action @ pacificwild.org and please #savethebcwolves @braisoncwukong thank you for sharing this major issue with me.... I love you and your big heart and WE as Kongs are going to do something about this! We can't let another winter pass us by without stopping this mass extermination! @pacificwild
Photos of Miley Cyrus, brother Braison in B.C.
(Credit below to April Bencze and Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild)