Rescue
Conservation officer suspended after refusing to euthanize scared bear cubs
This is completely unacceptable. He did the right thing regardless of the outcome.
Rebecca Reid
09.07.21

Canada Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant’s main focus is to do just that; conserve.

It just so happened that in one case, Casavant needed to help conserve wildlife. Who would have thought his heroic actions would mean dismissal from his job.

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

When a call came in the B.C. Conservation office about two bear cubs wandering near a residence, Casavant went to investigate.

As they arrived on the scene, the officers were able to capture the two cubs.

The cubs were thought to be wandering around looking for their mother who had to be euthanized after she made repeated attempts to break into a mobile home. – CBC News The National

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

In the dramatic video of the cubs being captured, you can hear their cries.

Although the video is hard to watch, you can see that the tiny cubs are lost, looking for food and not a threat at all to humans.

Casavant was ordered to kill the orphaned cubs but, seeing they posed no threat, he refused.

He could see that the animals were more scared than dangerous so he made the decision to help them.

Casavant knew there would be negative ramifications from his refusal to euthanize the bears.

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

This didn’t stop him from helping the cubs. He knew he was doing the right thing.

The cubs were sent to North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre and once they were healthy enough, they were released back into the wild. At the Recovery Centre, the cubs were given names, Jordan and Athena.

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

At the same time, Casavant was dismissed from his post.

But he wasn’t about to give up on working as a conservation officer.

“The case went to court and the B.C. Court of Appeal, ruled that Casavant was improperly dismissed from his job. The Supreme Court of Canada then dismissed an application by the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union to appeal the B.C. Court of Appeal ruling.” – The Animal Rescue Site

YouTube screenshot - CBC News The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News The National

Not only did Casavant get his job back, but he was also entitled to get the commensurate salary of $55,000-$75,000 with back pay. –CBC News National

“It’s a horrible situation I mean to have to put down an animal of any kind…unfortunately I’ve been in that situation myself.”Chris Doyle, fellow B.C. Conservation Officer

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

Thanks to his determination to do what’s right, Jordan and Athena have a second shot at life.

There is no doubt that Casavant lived up to his job title and did his best to conserve the area’s wildlife.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks, the current estimate of the black bear population in British Columbia is 120,000–160,000. This is about one-quarter of all black bears in Canada. – env.gov.bc.ca

YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National
Source:
YouTube screenshot - CBC News: The National

The Ministry says that cubs stay with their mother during their first year of life and sometimes longer. It is a crucial time for the cubs because the mother teaches them how to survive.

Since these two cubs no longer had their mother, they were lucky they found Casavant, who was willing to take on the roll, even for a little while.

See Jordan and Athena’s rescue in the video below!

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By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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