A conservation officer in British Columbia has been suspended without pay after refusing to kill two innocent bear cubs.
The CBC reported that CO Bryce Casavant did not follow orders to kill the two cubs of a female bear who was killed after she continued to raid a freezer full of meat and salmon. Casavant took the cubs to a veterinary hospital, and they were then transferred to a rehabilitation facility which will eventually release them into their natural environment.
“Robin Campbell, the recovery centre's manager, said the conservation officer did the right thing as the cubs are not habituated to humansand can be reintroduced to the wild,” the CBC reported Tuesday. “The conservation service had been called by a homeowner to deal with the cubs' mother after she repeatedly raided the freezer inside a mobile home south of Port Hardy, said Campbell.”
The cubs returned to the area searching for their recently deceased mother and climbed a tree near the mobile home, where they were eventually tranquilized and removed by officials.
Rehabber Campbell noted that the cubs were showing fear of humans, meaning they are ideal candidates for rehabilitation and release.
“In 30 years, this is the first time we've ever had an issue like this," he told the CBC. “There has to be some kind of misunderstanding … hopefully somebody will come to their senses."
Ministry officials nor the conservation officer have commented further on the reasoning for the suspension, though both sides have confirmed it.
A petition has been created asking Environment Minister Mary Polak to reinstate Casavant – a move that we at The Fur-Bearers fully support. A conservation officer choosing a compassionate and actual conservative path for wildlife should never be punished. It should be celebrated.
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