Grotesque Bear Kill Goes Viral, Prompts Government Ban

Government of Alberta, Canada says it will ban spear hunting in response to the widely circulated video of a former competitive javelin thrower impaling a wild black bear with a seven-foot spear.

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Government officials in Alberta, Canada have announced plans to ban spear hunting after a viral video of a hunter’s killing of a black bear with a handmade seven-foot spear has sparked global outrage. The graphic footage shows American hunter and bodybuilder Josh Bowmar stalking a 392-pound bear he’d lured with a trash can full of food, then launching his spear—equipped with a GoPro camera to capture the kill and a blade five inches wide and a more than a foot long—into the animal. “I drilled him perfect,” Bowmar said on the video. “I just did something that I don’t think anybody in the world has ever done. And I smoked him!” The clip also depicts Bowmar finding the bear’s body a day later (the animal had run off after being speared) and happily posing alongside it. Condemnation of the video came from both animal-rights groups and, ironically, other hunters, who called Bowmar’s tactics disrespectful, disgusting, and shameful. Less than 24 hours after several media outlets picked up the video, the Alberta government spoke out against Bowmar. “The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video … is unacceptable,” said Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Parks. “We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall.” The department has also launched an investigation into possible charges under existing fish and wildlife laws, reported CBC.