British Columbia

B.C. Conservation Service defends suspension of officer who refused to shoot baby bears

An internal policy review related to last year's high-profile case of an officer refusing to euthanize two orphaned bear cubs will soon be complete.

Internal policy review to be released 'not too far down the road.'

After a community paper, the North Island Gazette, posted a story showing the tranquillized sibling cubs, a petition was started to reinstate the conservation officer. (North Island Gazette)

British Columbia's Conservation Officer Service says an internal policy review related to last year's high-profile case of an officer refusing to euthanize two orphaned bear cubs will soon be complete.

Deputy chief Chris Doyle said he doesn't believe anything was wrong with a policy that suspended Bryce Casavant and later transferred him for refusing an order that he kill a pair of cubs deemed habituated to humans.

The findings of their review will be coming out "not too far down the road," Doyle said.

Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers last July when he opted not to shoot the cubs after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding a home near Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island.

Julie Mackey, a wildlife manager at the rehabilitation facility where the cubs are living, said they are doing well and haven't shown any signs of poor behaviour since their arrival last summer.

Mackey says the cubs are scheduled for release later this year and that the real test of their success will be how they perform in the wild.

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