Miley Cyrus enters fray to fight B.C. wolf cull program

WATCH:  The campaign to stop BC’s wolf cull is getting some high-profile support from singer Miley Cyrus. Grace Ke reports. 

The campaign to stop B.C.’s wolf cull got some high profile support from controversial pop star Miley Cyrus.

Cyrus, who is known for garnering equal amounts of hype and backlash, took to Instagram yesterday urging her 28 million followers to sign a petition to stop the killing of wolves in B.C.

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In her Instagram post Cyrus said, “I ask so much of my fanz, friendz, [sic] & family… But I am shameless when it comes to making changes in a world that at times needs to reevaluate its morals when dealing with kindness and compassion towards animals, humanity, and the environment.”

The killing she’s referring to is the province’s controversial wolf control program, which is in place to save endangered mountain caribou, and is about to enter its second year.

Cyrus encouraged her fans to sign the anti-wolf cull petition found on the website of a B.C. conservation group called Pacific Wild. By Wednesday afternoon the petition had almost reached its goal of 200,000 signatures.

“Within about an hour of her Instagrams, the site went down,” said Pacific Wild’s Michaela Montaner.

“It was great, we have a wonderful volunteer and IT team that worked together to get it back up very quickly and since then the support has been pouring in.”

The province started the first year of a five-year wolf cull program on Jan. 15, 2015 and as of April said 84 wolves were shot from helicopters in the South Selkirk Mountains and South Peace Region. The area is home to seven mountain caribou herds, four of which are in danger of being eliminated.

According to the government, the South Selkirk herd numbered 46 caribou in 2009 and declined to 14 in March 2015, and in the South Peace wolves account for 37 per cent of all adult caribou mortalities.

Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild has been critical of the hunt in the past, saying the real problem is habitat destruction and the cull is a taxpayer-funded program to kill an iconic species.

Cyrus echoed McAllister’s comments and has been actively debating if wolves are the problem with her followers.

For Pacific Wild, they’re hoping Cyrus keeps supporting their petition.

“We’re hopeful that it’s more than a fleeting support but even so it’s been an incredible boost to the campaign and we’re grateful for it,” said Montaner.

~ with files from Grace Ke and Canadian Press

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