ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Protesters will greet hockey fans outside the Honda Center Monday to call for the suspension of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who faces charges of violating British Columbia's hunting laws in connection with the killing of a grizzly bear.
The animal wildlife groups, including PETA and In Defense of Animals, have likened Stoner killing a bear in a 2013 hunt to NFL quarterback Michael Vick's involvement in a dog-fighting ring that prompted his suspension.
According to The Vancouver Sun, Stoner has been charged under British Columbia'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.
All five charges stem from the act's requirement that hunters must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents whose primary residences are in British Columbia and are physically present in the province for the "greater portion of each of six calendar months out of the 12 calendar months" preceding their application for the hunt and date of the actual hunt," according to a sergeant with British Columbia's Conservation Officer Service's major investigation unit.
Stoner, who was scheduled to appear in court Friday for a hearing that was postponed until Nov. 13, has not been suspended by either the National Hockey League, nor the Anaheim Ducks in connection with the charges.
When British Columbia-born Stoner sought the license on May 22, 2013, he had spent most of the previous year outside British Columbia, playing for the Minnesota Wild. Stoner signed with the Ducks in 2014.
Photos of Stoner posing with the severed head of a bear on a boat were published in The Vancouver Sun, along with images of the grizzly's carcass skinned and left to rot in a field. (Warning: graphic images)
"I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue spending time with my family outdoors," Stoner said in a statement issued to The Sun in 2013. "I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting license through a British Columbia limited-entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my license while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May. I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia."
The bear was nicknamed Cheeky by natives and those who worked in the area because he would often approach humans at a safe distance and stick his tongue out.
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