Polar bears, whose Arctic habitat is thawing out, have become the symbols of climate change, but they’re also prime targets for hunters in Canada, where trophy-hungry sportsmen cough up as much as $35,000 to bag a bear, the Independent reports. “This is probably the toughest hunt you can ever do,” said one Canadian guide who leads the wealthy hunters hailing from places as far away as Poland.
Indigenous communities are allotted a killing quota and often sell their “tags” to foreigners, who keep only the hide. Unlike the US, Canada, home to 60% of the world’s 22,000 polar bears, allows outsiders to conduct the trophy hunts. But with two-thirds of the polar bear population projected to be lost by 2050, the practice could prove unsustainable. Nations are now debating new hunting rules.