A conservation officer in British Columbia, Canada, was suspended from his job after he refused to kill two black bear cubs (video below).
Bryce Casavant has been suspended without pay after he took two bear cubs to a veterinary hospital despite being asked to kill them. The mother of the cubs was killed after she raided a freezer of meat at a mobile home in Port Hardy, British Columbia.
The incident began when the owner of the home called conservation services to take care of the bear that repeatedly raided the freezer.
After the bear was killed, her cubs came back to look for their mother. They ended up climbing a tree near the mobile home and had to be removed by firefighters and Casavant.
Casavant tranquilized the bear cubs before taking them the veterinary hospital.
The bear cubs are currently at a recovery center managed by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association on Vancouver Island.
The center’s manager Robin Campbell spoke to reporters about Casavant’s actions.
“(The mother bear) was a problem,” said Campbell, “but these cubs did nothing.”
He noted that the cubs were not used to people and he hopes they can be reintroduced into their natural habitat.
Campbell does not understand why Casavant was ordered to kill the bear cubs.
“In 30 years, this is the first time we’ve ever had an issue like this,” Campbell said. “There has to be some kind of misunderstanding … hopefully somebody will come to their senses.”
A petition has since been drafted on Change.org to reinstate Casavant.
Environment Minister Mary Polak released a statement regarding the incident saying: “This is a very sad and unfortunate situation. Although conservation officers must sometimes put down wild animals for the safety of the public and the welfare of the animal, we understand how difficult it is for all involved.”