British Columbia conservation officer Bryce Casavant has been suspended without pay for refusing to kill two black bear cubs. He was reportedly asked to destroy the cubs, as well as their mother, after the mother repeatedly raided a freezer full of meat and salmon. The cubs — a brother and sister — returned to the property looking for her.
Despite an order to kill the cubs too, Casavant took them to a veterinary hospital. They are now at a recovery centre run by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington which, like Port Hardy, is on Vancouver Island.
According to CBC’s Robin Campbell, the recovery centre’s manager said that the conservation officer did the right thing as the cubs are not habituated to humans and can be reintroduced to the wild. “The mother bear was a problem, but these cubs did nothing.”
B.C. conservation officer Bryce Casavant
The conservation service was called by a concerned homeowner whose freezer had been repeatedly raided by the cubs’ mother, The incident was then reported by a community paper, the North Island Gazette, an online petition was started to reinstate the conservation officer. (North Island Gazette). “In 30 years, this is the first time we’ve ever had an issue like this,” said the paper. “There has to be some kind of misunderstanding. Hopefully somebody will come to their senses.”
The B.C. Ministry of Environment hasn’t said what it plans to do about the cubs now, but in a statement said the Conservation Officer Service is investigating “this situation, including the actions of its members.”
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