Here’s some good news folks: Russia has officially banned the hunting of polar bears… at least for this year.
The move is a response to an animal activist group “The Polar Bear Programme” which has close ties to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“Measures taken by Russia will ensure that the United States will be killing at least 70 polar bears fewer than before, which, according to Russian specialists, will help to sustain and boost the population of this beautiful Arctic animal,” the group posted on Putin’s website.
Putin has been a longtime animal advocate, and last year he joined scientists to study the gray whale off off Russia’s Pacific coast, fighting for the rights of endangered bug cats, and in 2009 he sanctioned the release of two Persian leopards into a wildlife sanctuary.
Even though polar bears are endangered, the hunting has continued in large part due to arguments that they provide for the indigenous people in Alaska and far-eastern Russia. This ban though will hopefully stay in place for more than just this hunting season.
Via Huffington Post