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VANCOUVER — A British Columbia group against trophy hunting is hoping the case of an NHL player charged with killing a grizzly bear becomes a rallying cry to protect the animals.

About a dozen members of Bears Matter gathered outside provincial court in Vancouver today ahead of a court date for Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner.

Stoner is charged with five counts under the provincial Wildlife Act after a bear was shot on B.C.’s central coast in 2013, including two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting licence.

Group member Barb Murray says she hopes the case raises awareness that an increasing number of people are against killing bears.

Stoner has never denied the hunt, and Murray says she wants him to apologize for trophy hunting, pay a large fine and contribute to conservation in B.C.

The case was put over until Nov. 13, and a lawyer who appeared in court on Stoner’s behalf says he does not know how the hockey player intends to plead.

The Canadian Press

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