Duck Defenseman Clayton Stoner's Suspension Sought for Killing and Decapitation of Bear

Duck Defenseman Clayton Stoner's Suspension Sought for Killing and Decapitation of Bear

UPDATE, OCT. 16, 5 A.M.: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray seeking a season-long suspension of defenseman Clayton Stoner, during which time he can take an empathy course to learn why slaying and beheading a grizzly bear named Cheeky was wrong.

In a statement to the media accompanying a copy of the letter, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk compares Stoner, who faces five charges under Canada's Wildlife Act, to NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who fell from grace due to his involvement in dogfighting, and Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, who went into hiding after killing a popular lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe. "As the death of Cecil the lion showed, kind people are appalled that someone would think nothing of blowing away a beautiful wild animal and hacking off his head to keep as a trophy," Newkirk says. "PETA is calling on the Anaheim Ducks to suspend Clayton Stoner, send him to empathy school, and show that breaking the law and abusing animals will not be tolerated in the NHL." The letter to Murray follows:

October 15, 2015

Bob Murray Executive Vice President and General Manager Anaheim Ducks

Dear Mr. Murray,

I'm writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, some of whom are avid hockey fans, to request that you take immediate action to suspend Clayton Stoner for the remainder of the season in response to his lying to government authorities in order to obtain a hunting permit and for his decapitation of Cheeky, the beloved grizzly bear in British Columbia.

The vast majority of NHL fans are appalled by the actions of players who abuse others, and they want their teams to take decisive action to keep athletes who bend or break the law and/or are cruel to women, children, animals, or anyone else off the rink. Mr. Stoner has shown himself to be a bad role model and a man who lacks empathy and compassion. By suspending him, you'd send the clear message that bullying and abusing any individual is not tolerated by your organization.

We also suggest that you require Mr. Stoner to take an empathy training class, which would provide him with positive guidelines for how to behave toward others. The course we arranged for dogfighter Michael Vick is an eight-hour one and includes reviewing studies showing that animals are capable of a wide range of complex behavior and emotions. It gives examples of the fact that people who commit acts of violence against animals often move on to violence against human beings. Although most of us learn in kindergarten that you should do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you and that all animals are thinking, feeling beings, there is no doubt that Stoner needs to hear this again.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Daphna Nachminovitch Senior Vice President Cruelty Investigations Department

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 12, 10:50 A.M.: Activists from seven animal rights groups say they will protest outside the Honda Center today, not over the continued mistreatment of Wildwing--you try being lowered from a ceiling on a tether nightly--but to blast a different Duck, Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner.

The outdoor demonstration planned from 5-7 p.m.--or when the first puck is dropped inside the Honda Center--is aimed at calling for the suspension of the British Columbia-born brawler, who is accused back home of violating hunting laws in 2013 by killing a grizzly bear locals nicknamed Cheeky.

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Specifically, Stoner has been charged under BC's Wildlife Act with two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license, and one count each of hunting out of season, hunting without a license and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife.

In 2013, after The Vancouver Sun showed Stoner a photo of him posing with the departed Cheeky, he issued a statement saying he had applied for and received the proper license for the hunt and was a resident of British Columbia at the time it occurred. Stoner was with the Minnesota Wild then--he signed with the Ducks last year--and BC officials charged him under the legal theory he was not a full-time resident of the province.

The Sun, which had reported Stoner was apparently lacking a hunting license that costs $25,000 in U.S. dollars, states he could be fined $50,000 to $250,000 if convicted. He made his first court appearance Friday in Vancouver (with legal counsel by his side) and is due back Nov. 13. The Ducks play at home against the New York Islanders that night.

World Animal News, Social Compassion in Legislation, Peace 4 Animals, Union Members for the Preservation of Wildlife, Last Chance for Animals, In Defense of Animals and Honda Center mainstay People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) participate in tonight's protest of the Ducks home opener against ... drum roll ... the Vancouver Canucks.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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