18-year-old Camille Bomboy of Pennsylvania was out hunting last week when she was brutally attacked by a mother bear. Bomboy survived the mauling, but just barely scraped by with her life. Now activist group PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that just four days after the attack that they sent a letter to Bomboy asking her to stop hunting.
During the incident, Bomboy nearly lost one of her ears and was bitten on various parts of her body. While recovering from surgery, PETA sent the letter wishing her a “speedy recovery” while also asking her to try to put herself in the place of the bear.
“As terrifying as it must have been to be attacked by a bear, please consider the frightening and painful experiences that hunters set out to impose upon animals,” wrote Alicia Woempner, Special Projects Division Manager for PETA, on behalf of the organization.
“Like us, animals value their lives and don't want to be killed,” continued Woempner in the letter.
The letter has outraged some, including Fox News host Gretchen Carlson. Lisa Lange, Senior Vice President of PETA appeared on Carlson’s show defending the letter.
“If there was ever a time when this girl might actually sympathize with the animals that she and her family go out and kill, we think that it’s now when she’s actually suffered a terrorizing attack of her own,” said Lange.
“When a teenage girl is potentially almost killed, potentially killed, you send a letter asking her to look at it from the perspective of the bear?”
“Absolutely,” responded Lange.
According to reports, Bomboy has stated that, despite the plea from PETA, she will continue to hunt once she is fully recovered from her injuries.
Here is the full letter from PETA.
December 13, 2013
Dear Ms. Bomboy,
I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Pennsylvania, to send our best wishes for your speedy recovery and ask you to take a few moments to reflect on this incident. This seems to be a good opportunity to put yourself in the place of the individuals you and the rest of your hunting party were trying to kill. As terrifying as it must have been to be attacked by a bear, please consider the frightening and painful experiences that hunters set out to impose upon animals. There used to be a bumper sticker that read, "I support the right to arm bears!" That was a joke, but in all seriousness, it would be a blessing if you were to abandon hunting and decide to live and let live.
As this mother bear demonstrated, animals form intense bonds with their young, just as we do, and will go to great lengths to protect them, just as your stepfather did for you. Like us, animals value their lives and don't want to be killed. And many animals endure prolonged, painful deaths when they're injured by hunters but not killed outright, which I'm sure you know firsthand from being in the woods. A study of 80 radio-collared deer found that of the 22 deer who had been shot with "traditional archery equipment," 11 were wounded but not recovered.
Now that you've experienced the horror of an attack—although this one was in self-defense—we hope you will choose to enjoy nature in only nonviolent ways. Thank you for your consideration.
Special Projects Division Manager