Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

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http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
Jeff Bell <http://www.timescolonist.com/authors?author=Jeff%20Bell> / Times
Colonist
April 20, 2016 06:00 AM

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Bryce Casavant’s actions last July came after the cubs’ mother was judged to
be too habituated to humans and was killed for twice raiding a freezer at a
Port Hardy-area home.
The decision not to kill the cubs led to Casavant’s suspension.
That sparked an online petition for his reinstatement that reached close to
310,000 supporters. The case attracted international attention, which
included comedian Ricky Gervais sticking up for Casavant via Twitter.
Casavant, 33, returned to work in late August in a different job at an equal
pay grade.
He said he and the government have reached an agreement that sees him become
a natural-resource officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations, while at the same time pursuing a PhD at Royal Roads
University.
“The province of B.C. is fully supporting me in my educational endeavours,”
he said.
The general duties of a natural-resource officer include enforcement and
patrol relating to resource-management laws, which can cover such areas as
the Wildfire Act, the Forest Act and the Water Act.
Casavant described the combination of work and school as “a different
direction.”
He said he accepted the consequences after the action he took with the cubs.
“Generally speaking, people are faced with difficult decisions every day in
their lives and I made one, and I was willing to be held accountable
professionally and legally for that decision,” he said. “This is now the
outcome of that.”
Casavant said his PhD research will focus on “the social aspects of conflict
wildlife.”
“I think there’s different social perceptions within society of predators,
and how that relates to the urban interface, how that shapes our prevention
and response measures,” he said.
“It’s not just conservation officers – you have a lot of police responding
to conflict wildlife throughout the province.”
The cubs, who have been named Jordan and Athena, were taken to the North
Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where they are doing well in the company of
other bears.
“It looks very positive,” said centre founder Robin Campbell.
Campbell said the pair will be released this year, likely in the summer or
fall.
“They’ll have transmitters on them so we’ll be able to follow them.”
jwbell@timescolonist.com

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4 thoughts on “Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

  1. Unbelievable. What was the rationale for not letting him keep his job? We civilians want caring, compassionate people working with the animals. We pay the tax
    es. We should have a say.

  2. Not surprised, just disgusted! Apparently not walking in lock step in those wildlife agencies will result in punishment. If he had been allowed to return to work, he might have ended up with a dead-end desk job somewhere.

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