Imagine that you are Chinese for one second. You live in a city with a population of tens of millions of people. Your daily surroundings are grey, a concrete jungle and a highly polluted atmosphere. For you, nature is rather abstract and only seen on some TV cable channels. Ecology is a vaguely familiar word to you, but you are a company director and thus more concerned with the performance of your employees than the state of salads that you don’t grow. In short, you’re a rich Chinese citizen. You take a few days off to relax and relieve stress each year. This year, you decided to enjoy a unique experience thanks to the following unforgettable holidays: go to Canada for a polar bear safari.
The “I love hunting club” is a new travel concept offered by 52 safari. Tourists can spend ten days in the far north for 60,000 euros. This includes first-class flights, five-star hotels and hunting polar bears, as well as the possibility of taking home the animal’s skin and a souvenir DVD of the experience. Tourists hunt bears on dog sleds and are helped in their “adventures” by specially trained Inuits armed with powerful rifles that can quickly fatally injure the animals. The Canadian government grants hunting licences limited to one head per tourist. Other Chinese travel sites offer other kinds of safaris, such as hunting brown bears, rhinoceros, deer, etc…
Need we point out that the polar bear is a symbol and even the icon of global warming? Polar bear populations are declining and the species is endangered because of the rapid upheaval of its environment (melting ice). The present polar bear population is estimated between 20,000 and 25,000 individuals living in the wild.
Do you think that the worst thing is that Chinese people go to Canada to kill polar bears for the pleasure of safari hunting or that the Canadian government lets them do so by granting them hunting licences?