A Canadian wildlife conservation officer has been suspended for refusing to kill two baby bear clubs.
Bryce Casavant was ordered to destroy two bear clubs when their mother was shot dead while trying to raid a fridge full of meat and salmon near Port Hardy in British Columbia.
But instead Casavant took the bears, a brother and sister, to the local veterinary hospital.
Robin Campbell, the hospital’s manager, said he did the right thing as the cubs were not used to humans and could be reintroduced to the wild.
He told Huffington Post Canada the order to cull black bears was unusual because they were afraid of humans: “In 30 years, this is the first time we've ever had an issue like this.
“There has to be some kind of misunderstanding ... hopefully somebody will come to their senses."
“[The mother bear] was a problem, but these cubs did nothing”, he added.
The service had been called by a homeowner who said the mother had repeatedly trying to break into a mobile home to steal food.
In response to the news, a Change.org petition calling on British Columbia’s environment minister, Mary Polak, to reinstate Casavant has attracted over 18,000 signatures in just 24 hours.
It read: “Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant has been suspended without pay pending a performance investigation after he refused to put down two bear cubs this weekend.
“On July 5, Casavant and members of the Port Hardy Fire Department literally pulled out all stops to rescue the babies who had come back to the property and were up a tree calling for their mother.”
A spokesperson for the ministry said it will not comment on personnel matters due to privacy concerns.
The baby bear cubs are estimated to be about two months old and weigh 20 to 25 pounds each. Both are happy and healthy.Reuse content