Suspended over bears: Officer Won’t Kill Bears
Published: July 12, 2015
Suspended over bears: Officer Won’t Kill Bears, One conservation officer found himself suspended after he refused to kill a pair of orphaned baby bears. The issue arose when the mother of the bears was shot for repeatedly breaking into a mobile home near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. A search of the area revealed the existence of the cubs, which were hiding in a tree. After getting assistance from the Port Hardy Fire Department, the conservation officer tranquilized the animals and took them to an area veterinarian.
The latest on a B.C. conservation officer suspended for refusing to put down two baby bears. http://t.co/gVztPMlMx2 pic.twitter.com/uKVRAvHH51
— The National (@CBCTheNational) July 9, 2015
When the vet determined that the bears were healthy, Bryce Casavant immediately turned the orphaned duo over to North Island Wildlife Recovery Association for care. Somehow the act of kindness didn’t sit well with the officer’s bosses at the Ministry of the Environment. Because the officer refused to kill the bears along with their mother, he was suspended by the Environment authorities in British Colombia without pay.
“I’m devastated,” said Bryce. “It’s so disappointing they have taken this stance.”
It was noted that cops have killed and been suspended with pay. To spare a life and be suspended without pay seemed a bit of a bitter twist. His union has since released a statement that the officer is now on paid leave.
Pay reinstated for Bryce Casavant, B.C. conservation officer who refused to kill baby bears http://t.co/JS8pVYcecA pic.twitter.com/30atc7dvir
— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) July 8, 2015
But there’s a chance that the officer’s act of compassion might get him his job back. As the story goes viral, thousands have spoken out in favor of the officer. A petition posted to Change.org has garnered over 111,000 signatures. English comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, a noted animal rights advocate, has also called on British Colombia authorities to reinstate Officer Bryce Casavant.
Ricky Gervais calls for officer suspended for refusing to kill bear cubs to be reinstated http://t.co/3DyfRcY597 pic.twitter.com/oEpeJI5jYF
— The Independent (@Independent) July 9, 2015
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