Missing The Bear Essentials? American Hunter Denies Story On Chinese Polar Bear Hunts

Scott Lupien insists that he is the ultimate conservationist. According to the article below, Lupien, an American fluent in Chinese, takes wealthy Chinese to Canada where they can see magnificent Polar bears up close . . . and kill them and turn them into rugs. The , Lupien is a professional hunter who is “teaching the Chinese about conservation” by leading trips to shoot down male polar bears. He insists that his customers respect nature: “Each hunter is allowed to kill one male only. We then turn them into rugs.” On his website, however, Lupien says that the story is false raising an interesting question of potential defamation.

Lupien’s website has pictures of a variety of dead large animals, but notably not a polar bear. He posted the following statement:

On March 5th, 2012 I received a phone call from a Daily Mail reporter calling himself Peter. He chatted me up, calling himself a fellow “sportsman” to earn my trust, and wanted to know about my polar bear hunts. I told him that I have never been on a polar bear hunt, and to my knowledge, neither has a single Chinese person. Nevertheless, he wanted to know more and I discussed polar bear hunting in general with him — specifically the history, ecology and management of polar bear hunting.

While he insists that he never discussed “Smuggling rugs” it is not clear if he denies this statement: “Each hunter is allowed to kill one male only. We then turn them into rugs.”

On his site, the owner of “I Love Hunting” (which does cater to wealthy Chinese) does argue for hunting polar bears and contests views that they are endangered:

labeling polar bears as “endangered” is another example of misrepresentation of the facts, unethical reporting and pure bias. A quick study of the most recent listing by IUCN will inform anyone who wants to know the true listing status of the polar bear that it is currently listed as “Vulnerable,” not “Endangered.” Furthermore, the reason for this listing (as opposed to a status of lower concern) is based purely on speculation based on models of what might happen. . . .
In other words, eight years ago they decided, based on climate models at that time, that polar sea ice might shrink, thus potentially leading to a reduction in polar bear numbers. This is speculation and such predictions have not come true in the eight years since this listing.

Mr Lupien’s website, 52safari.com, does remind one of that scene out of Ace Ventura (yes, I have four children under 13) where the pet detective finds himself in a room filled with dead wild animals.

Lupien’s site shows a variety of large game from black bears to lions to elephants that can be shot by wealthy Chinese.

The newspaper article says that an advert also features polar bears, stating “Their weight can reach one ton, and they can grow to more than three meters in length. The huge male bear specimens are the most majestic, most beautiful of hunting prizes!”

The article also quotes Lupien as saying “If you believe the ice caps are melting as some claim, these bears are going to die anyway, so you may as well hunt them.”

Lupien’s allegation that the story is false leads to an interesting defamation lawsuit. Lupien clearly does support hunting polar bears, so the article does not attribute a false position — only a false fact. The question is how it would harm his reputation. Indeed, it may be a situation like the one discussed by the Seventh Circuit in Wilkow v. Forbes, 241 F. 3d 552 (7th Cir. 2001). In the case, an attorney sued for defamation after a Forbes magazine article discussed his work in a bankruptcy case and an exception to the absolute priority rule. The article characterized his arguments as helping “unscrupulous business owners to rob creditors.” Notably, however, Judge Frank Easterbrook not only found the article to be opinion but said that the account of Wilkow’s practice might actually bring business to him:

Although a reader might arch an eyebrow at Wilkow’s strategy, an allegation of greed is not defamatory; sedulous pursuit of self-interest is the engine that propels a market economy. Capitalism certainly does not depend on sharp practices, but neither is an allegation of sharp dealing anything more than an uncharitable opinion. Illinois does not attach damages to name-calling. See Stevens, 855 F.2d at 400-02 (collecting cases, including examples such as “sleazy” and “rip-off”). Wilkow’s current and potential partners would have read this article as an endorsement of Wilkow’s strategy; they want to invest with a general partner who drives the hardest possible bargain with lenders. By observing that Wilkow used every opening the courts allowed, Forbes may well have improved his standing with investors looking for real estate tax shelters (though surely it did not help his standing with lenders). No matter the net effect of the article, however, it was not defamatory under Illinois law, so the judgment of the district court is

Lupien may indeed find that the outcry against his business will produce a positive response with some wealthy Chinese.

Putting this aside, there is a major question that the Daily Mail should answer. He is denying that he does these hunts. That would be a significant error in its reporting if it is true. Presumably, this reporter has notes and a basis for the article, which the paper should make clear to answer this charge.

Source: Daily Mail

49 thoughts on “Missing The Bear Essentials? American Hunter Denies Story On Chinese Polar Bear Hunts

  1. Speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, Mr Gore said new computer modelling suggests there is a 75 per cent chance of the entire polar ice cap melting during the summertime by 2014.

    However, he faced embarrassment last night after Dr Wieslav Maslowski, the climatologist whose work the prediction was based on, refuted his claims.

    Dr Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, told The Times: “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at.

  2. Of course this is nothing new

    April 16 1923

    THE NORTH POLE

    CAUSES OF CHANGE OF CLIMATE.

    Is the North Pole going to melt en- tirely? Are the Arctic regions warming up, with prospect of a great climatic change in that part of the world? Science (says “Popular Science”) is asking these questions. Reports from fish-

    ermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas around Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, with hitherto un- heard-of high temperatures on that part of the earth’s surface.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/77891667?searchTerm=arctic%20melt&searchLimits=

  3. Just remember the melting ice caps which are not melting continues to create record snowfall events around the world three years in a row.

  4. Expert Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    Sep 20, 2010

    “I stand by my previous statements that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is in a death spiral. It’s not going to recover,” Serreze said.

    http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52896

    Expert Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    Feb 27, 2012

    “Is Arctic ice in a death spiral? Maybe not yet, but it’s in big trouble,” Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, recently told ABC News,

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/02/disappearing-arctic-sea-ice-more-powerful-storms/

  5. Judge delivers ‘bittersweet’ polar bear ruling
    Amanda Coyne | Oct 17, 2011

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/judge-delivers-bittersweet-polar-bear-ruling

    Sullivan said that Fish and Wildlife Service failed to conduct a proper environmental review when creating the protections for the polar bear. The agency must now go back and conduct an environmental assessment of the outcome of the rule, and consider other options.

    The lawsuits to list the polar bear as endangered were never about protecting polar bears. Instead they were nothing more than a back door approach to regulate CO2 and stop responsible development from moving forward. This is a good decision, not only for Alaska but for this nation as we look to become more energy independent.

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