Interview today on CBC Radio:
Canada has a lot of environmental crusaders these days and some stand out more than others. Since he was a young boy, Simon Jackson, (now 22), has made a lasting impression on thousands of people in this country and around the world. He developed a passion for bears when he saw his first wild bear at the age of seven. After raising money to save a single animal, he decided that anyone could make a difference to endangered bears. Since then he has focused on saving the rare Kermode bear - sometimes called the "Spirit Bear" - which is only found in a remote corner of BC.
The Kermode bear is a genetically-distinct albino, dependent for its existence on maintenance of its threatened ecosystem. Ocean Light Adventures II, are the originators of Spirit Bear tours into the Great Bear Rainforest and for 15 years have been taking people aboard their 71-foot sailboat to see these bears. Their web site conveys something of the spectacular beauty of this animal and its setting. The movie? Well, believe it or not, (according to the interview with Jackson) some of the makers of recent popular animations, like The Lion King and Shrek are preparing to team up and make a movie intended to raise awareness and support for the Kermode. The BC government has said it is committed to protecting this bear's habitat. Meanwhile, there is much action that can be taken to make sure this bear, and the other animals and plants that live with it in The Great Bear Rainforest have a secure home.
- Spirit Bear Youth Coalition - founded by Simon Jackson