Last week, an 18-year-old Pennsylvania teen named Camille Marie Bomboy was attacked by a black bear while out deer hunting with her step-father and a large hunting party. At some point during the hunt, a mother bear attacked Camille’s shoulder and she was saved by her step-father shooting at the bear and scaring it off.
Camille is recovering after almost losing an ear and sustaining major injuries from bites to her arm, but has said that she plans to continue to hunt in spite of the incident. In their traditional fashion, PETA saw this as an opportunity to reach out to the teen, wishing her a quick recovery while also urging her to think hard about her decision to hunt.
The letter, which was obtained by We Are Central Pennsylvania, can be read in full below:
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
PETA has a history of working against hunters, even attempting to fly drones in hope of capturing footage of hunters engaging in cruel and/or illegal activities—such as shooting deer from the side of the road, baiting fields for ducks or geese, or using dogs to chase turkey. As we all know, flying drones through popular hunting areas is sure to spook wild game and cause other environmental disruptions, and is unlikely to actually help reduce poaching and other illegal acts.
Do you think PETA should have asked Camille to rethink her passion for hunting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo courtesy of: We Are Central Pennsylvania.