For Immediate Release
Erin McCallum, (202) 772-3217; (610) 207-5209
More Than 145,000 Speak Out Against Corporate Sponsored Wolf Killing Contests
Predator derbies awarded points and prizes for killing wolves and other wildlife
WASHINGTON - As of today, more than 145,000 people have joined Defenders of Wildlife in calling on Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse to end their sponsorship of predator derbies in which contestants in Idaho this winter vied to kill wildlife for points and prizes (and wolf kills fetched the highest points). A petition delivered over the weekend to the headquarters of both major outdoor retailers demands that both companies renounce their sponsorship of the unethical "predator derbies," the proceeds of which were funneled to anti-wolf groups and litigation.
Statement from Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:
"It's irresponsible that Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse sponsored such unsportsmanlike killing contests. Even more disturbing is that the proceeds from the derbies went directly into the pockets of extreme anti-wolf groups that would like to see wolves removed from the landscape by any means.
"Cabela's claims to be ‘dedicated to conserving the fish, game and wild places that are our heritage' yet its actions directly threaten the survival of the American gray wolf - a symbol of America's wild heritage and environmental health. No true conservation-minded organization would knowingly sponsor competitions intended to take aim at an imperiled species, the fate of which is still playing out in the courts.
"Many biologists and conservation groups agree that wolves were prematurely removed from the list of endangered species, and should never have become the focus of corporate-sponsored killing contests. A federal judge has indicated that we are likely to prevail on the merits of our lawsuit, which seeks to return Endangered Species Act protections to wolves in the Northern Rockies until adequate state management plans are in place and the population in the region is fully recovered.
"We know for a fact that, because of its actions, Cabela's has lost the business of thousands of previously loyal customers who hunt, fish, camp and hike, and in doing so support biological diversity conservation instead of undermining it.
"Instead of glorifying the killing of America's imperiled gray wolves, Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse should immediately withdraw their support for any future predator derbies and reevaluate what it means to conserve and celebrate America's wildlife and special places."
Contact: Erin McCallum; firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-772-3217; 610-207-5209
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Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.