UPDATED August 18, 7:36 p.m.: Under Armour has dropped its sponsorship of Sarah Bowmar following the bear-spearing controversy. While some applaud the company's decision, others supporting the couple's actions vow to boycott the brand.
Livid animal advocates are calling for an 'online protest' against American fitness guru Josh Bowmar, who killed a black bear with a 7ft spear during a trip to Alberta.
Bowmar first baited the bear, then speared the animal, which ran away and was found the next day with its intestines hanging around low-lying branches. His wife Sarah helped filmed the hunt, according to reports.
While the video sparked international outrage, the Columbus, Ohio-based couple vehemently pushed back against critics, arguing that spearing a bear in the wild isn't any more cruel than killing farm animals for food.
Sarah Bomar reportedly replied to one of the animal advocates, saying:
"You really think I owe you anything? And hunting is our life. We will never stop."
Under Armour drops sponsorship
Sarah Bowmar was sponsored by Under Armour, as part of the brand's line of clothing for hunters. The company has spent the last few days responding to protests about the bear killing, saying it doesn't condone of her husband's method of using a spear to kill bears, and that although they sponsor Sarah, they don't sponsor spearthrowing Josh. On August 18, Under Armour announced it was ending its relationship with Bowmar due to the controversy.
The original bear killing video that sparked global outrage was shot by the Bowmars themselves. The video shows a black bear approaching food used as bait. Josh Bowmar is seen spearing the bear, then turning to the camera and boasting: “I just did something that I don’t think anybody in the world has ever done and that’s spear a bear on the ground on film. And I smoked him!”
As the bear runs away, Bowmar tries to track it, only to find his spear. But he says based on the amount of blood, there was a "lot of penetration" and that the bear must have surely died.
Josh Bowmar defended the killing as humane in a statement to Global News, saying that "a spear is more of an ethical, humane weapon to hunt with than a bow.” Bowmar and his wife denied accusations they killed the bear solely to get photographs, and said they used every part of the bear and did not let it go to waste.
Alberta vows to ban "archaic" type of hunting
Defenders of Josh and Sarah Bowmar repeatedly stated that the use of a spear to kill the bear was completely legal under Alberta's laws, but that looks to be changing soon. Outrage over the couple's video has sparked moves to ban spear killing in the province.
"The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video … is unacceptable," Alberta's Ministry of Environment and Parks announced earlier this week. "We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall."