Sunday, July 12, 2015

Officer In Trouble For NOT Summarily Executing Two Bear Cubs

A conservation officer in Canada was
 suspended from his job for not
killing these two bear cubs.  
A female bear kept getting into the freezer of a remote camp in British Columbia recently.

When bears become a problem like that, they sometimes have to be put down, and that, sadly was the case with this bear.

Even worse, this bear had two cubs. Conservation officer Bryce Casavant was ordered by his supervisors to kill the bear cubs, too.

He refused and took them to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association near Vancouver, British Columbia.

For Casavant was suspended for his job without pay, says the Canadian broadcaster CBC. 

The situation, first reported in the North Island Gazette in British Columbia, set off a HUGE erupton on social media, especially in Canada erupted at the news of the conservation officer's suspension.

Nothing like an order to kill two cute little black bear cubs to get people riled up.

It's true if bear cubs are conditioned to cause trouble, they, too have to be put down, say wildlife experts. But the CBC quoted the recovery center's manager as saying he is perplexed by the order to kill the cubs.

"(The mother bear) was a problem, but these cubs did nothing," said the manager, Robin Campbell.

Campbell said the cubs were not habituated to humans and could be successful re-introduced to the wild. Casavant, the conservation officer, did the right thing by bringing the cubs to the wildlive recovery center, Campbell said.

"In 30 years, this is the first time we've ever had an issue like this," Campbell said, as quoted by the CBC. "There has to be some kind of misunderstanding... hopefully somebody will come to their senses." 

It's unclear if that will happen. Certainly the shoot to kill the cubs order sounds sadistic, but we haven't heard yet from the guy who ordered the deaths. British Columbian environmental authorities haven't decided what to do about the cubs yet.

Casavant is still suspended from his job, but now it's with pay, because of the public outcry over this.

Even if more information comes out and it turns out the cubs were misbehaving and habituated to humans, why the rush to kill them? And why the rush to suspend Casavant? As one commenter pointed out on the North Island Gazette Facebook page, let's let animals be innocent until proven guilty, too.

Others point out that Casavant's job title is Conservation Officer, so let him conserve, in this case the life of these bears, if at all possible.

Still others took a big picture look at this and said it is humans invading the habitat of bears, and not bears invading the habitat of humans that's the real problem here.

Of course, when you look at the big picture, that's when things really get sticky. Us humans are ruining the habitat of countless species, and we're spawning a great wildlife extinction.

The simple solution to the bear cubs in British Columbia is to reinstate Casavant, release the cubs to the wild if possible and move on.

As far as the big picture goes, I don't think anybody has a good solution to us humans and our environmentally dangerous ways. We're all guilty, this writer included.

It's fine and absolutely correct to be upset over the callousness some people had toward these bear cubs. But this makes me wonder how many innocent wild animals I might have unwittingly harmed.

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