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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Break and enters have doubled this year in Victoria

VicPD is warning residents to take precautions after huge increase from 2019

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Saanich police searching for high-risk missing man

The 35-year-old was last seen at his Saanich residence on Sept. 15

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Sept. 22

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Most Read