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BC conservation officer suspended for refusing to destroy bear cubs

Last Updated Aug 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm PDT

Orphaned bear cubs (North Island Wildlife Awareness)

Conservation Officer suspended without pay

Bears at wildlife rehab centre

Garbage bears are often destroyed.

PORT HARDY(NEWS 1130) – Thousands of people have already signed a Change.org petition demanding the reinstatement of a BC Conservation Officer in Port Hardy.

Bryce Casavant was suspended without pay after apparently refusing to put down two bear cubs.

The bears were orphaned after their mother was destroyed for breaking into a meat freezer on more than one occasion inside a mobile home.

With the help of the Port Hardy Fire Department, Casavant tranquilized the cubs by hand, brought them to a vet and then took them to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association operated by Robin Campbell.

“Their behaviour is very good, they’re acting like the rest of our bears. We’ve got seven bears here right now and they’re running from you, they’re frightened of you. So they’re very good candidates for release next year.”

Campbell insists the brother and sister are not garbage bears.

Garbage bears are often called “dead bears” in BC.

Campbell says the cubs were at the home only because they were looking for their mother who had been shot and killed.

The bears are believed to be around eight weeks and weigh 20 to 25 pounds.

NEWS 1130 has contacted the Ministry of Environment for reaction to this story.

On Change.org, David Steele writes “get this guy back to work and hire three more like him!”

Wendy Hall says, “I believe in what he did. Those cubs were no threat and they deserve a chance at life.”

Debbie Kirkey writes, “conservation means “save”! This officer did just that!”

Heather writes, “Compassion should make him more employable, not less.”

Lana says, “bullets are not the only answer.”

Carole says, “Officer Casavant is a “Conservation Officer” so saving them should be his priority.”