Bear cub-saving CO abandons battle for reinstatement

Bryce Casavant content with other employment options after refusal to shoot cubs thrust him into international spotlight

Conservation officer Bryce Casavant captures one of two bear cubs in Port Hardy last July.

The Vancouver Island conservation officer who became international news last summer for refusing to shoot two bear cubs has abandoned the fight to get his job back.

Bryce Casavant launched a grievance after he was first suspended, then transferred out of the CO service and into another department following his actions in defiance of provincial orders.

According to his union, the grievance has now been dropped.

“Bryce Casavant is content with his current position with the Ministry of Forests and has chosen not to continue his grievances in the pursuit of a return to his previous position with the Ministry of Environment,” BC Government Employees Union president Stephanie Smith said in an emailed statement.

“Bryce has decided to focus his energy on attaining a PhD in furtherance of interests in environmental sustainability. The Province of B.C. supports his decision.”

Casavant received worldwide attention when he disobeyed an order from his superiors within B.C.’s Ministry of Environment to put the cubs down after their mother was caught ravaging a freezer July 3 in Port Hardy. He shot the mom as being too habituated to humans for rehabilitation, but determined the cubs did not meet the same standard and could be saved.

Boosted by the support of British comedian Ricky Gervais, an online petition for Casavant’s reinstatement eventually passed a total of 300,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, the cubs whose lives Casavant spared remain isolated from human contact at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington, west of Parksville. Dubbed Jordan and Athena, they have emerged from hibernation and are expected to be released back into the wild along with the centre’s other rescue cubs.

“The eight cubs including Jordan and Athena are doing well. They have become active in their enclosure again but nothing really has changed,”  NIWRA wildlife manager Julie Mackey said. “We still do not have any word on release date but are hoping for early summer.”

A new provincial policy for dealing with problem bears is expected to be in place this spring.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnMcKinleyBP

Just Posted

Port McNeill cannabis committee to recommend to mayor and council designated zones for commercial marijuana agriculture

The committee unanimously voted for cannabis cultivation in M-1 (Mine Road), M-2, and A-1 zones.

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called “missing middle.”

Canada’s goal is to play in a medal game at World Cup in Spain

The 2014 women’s world basketball championships were a coming out party for Canada.

World Anti-Doping Agency reinstates Russia

There was no mention of Russia publicly accepting a state-sponsored conspiracy to help its athletes win Olympic medals by doping.

Prolific offender arrested in Nanaimo after sleeping in stolen car

Jackson Filgate, 34, of Nanaimo, faces stolen property, drug charges after being arrested Sept. 18

Nanaimo’s Tilray pot stock continues rising, firm now worth more than $21 billion US

The B.C. company’s shares have risen more than 1,000 % since its initial public offering in July

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Most Read