Episode 103: The Bear Truth

Getting through the spin in marketing and media isn’t always easy. But with this week’s group of experts, we’re hoping to give you a helping hand. Talking about the history and realities – not the hunters’ spin – of the spring bear hunt in Ontario and its proposed return is Liz White of Animal Alliance of Canada. Brad Gates, owner of Gates Wildlife Control, shares his personal journey to becoming a world-class humane wildlife removal operator and the disturbing secrets of others in his industry. The University of Calgary’s Dr. Shelley Alexander discusses her media content analysis study and the impact the media has had on coyotes in Canada. And Sylvia Dolson, Executive Director of the Get Bear Smart Society, tells of how communities faced fears and learned to live peacefully with bears.

Liz White, Animal Alliance of Canada

Ontario MPP Bill Mauro has put forward a Private Members’ Bill that would see the reinstatement of the controversial spring bear hunt. Liz White of Animal Alliance of Canada, a long-time animal advocate and part of the original movement that stopped the hunt in the 1990s, joins Defender Radio to dispel the myths of Ontario’s bears and explain why the spring bear hunt is more damaging than meets the eye. Interview begins at 00:50.

Brad Gates, Gates Wildlife Control

Being the best takes time – and Brad Gates from Gates Wildlife Control shares his story of growth, education and eventual advocacy for humane treatment of animals in an industry often thought of as just the opposite. Interview begins at 07:10.

Dr. Shelley Alexander

The media sensationalizes – that’s not a surprise to anyone in animal advocacy, welfare or activism. But Dr. Shelley Alexander conducted a media content analysis study that proved how bad it can be. Her study looked at hundreds of media articles related to coyotes in Canada and she shares with Defender Radio her findings and what they mean for the future of media and wildlife. Interview begins at 18:52.

Sylvia Dolson, Get Bear Smart Society

Staring down a bear sounds like a stunt in a goofy comedy; but the Get Bear Smart Society has proven that with a little knowledge, bears can live in peace with humans. Sylvia Dolson explores the past and future of the Get Bear Smart Society and shares the secrets of their success in coexisting with bears in British Columbia. Photo by Anastasia Chomlack. Interview begins at 30:43.

Episode 103: The Bear Truth can be heard by streaming (click 'play' button below), downloading the MP3 or through the iTunes store.

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