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A grizzly bear expert is dismissing claims from critics of British Columbia’s trophy bear hunt that low salmon numbers have left many of the bears dead.

As reported yesterday, several conservationists and eco-tourism guides are calling on the province to put a stop to this year’s trophy hunt to protect bears they say are already being hurt by low salmon numbers.

But Dr. Sterling Miller, senior biologist with the US National Wildlife Federation, says it’s an alarmist claim that isn’t based on anything but anecdotal evidence.

He says it’s unlikely bears would starve if just one of their sources of food declined, and he believes any effects will take several years to determine.

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