Conservation officer suspended for saving bear cubs

Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant has been suspended without pay pending a performance investigation after he refused to put down two bear cubs this weekend.

The baby bears, a brother and sister, were orphaned after their mother was put down after she had, at least twice, broken into a freezer of salmon and deer meat inside a mobile home on Hardy Bay Road.

The babies were estimated to be about eight weeks and weigh 20 to 25 pounds, are healthy and still nursing.

Casavant made the decision to transport the bears down Island to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association facility in Errington, as per provincial policy regarding bear cubs, despite an order that they be destroyed. “I think it is important for the community to know that I am here to do the right thing,” said Casavant.

The controversy occurred after the Ministry of Environment received conflicting reports, one that said the cubs were eating garbage and another which said that was not the case.

Gordon Hitchcock of the Conservation Officer Service said they don’t discuss personnel matters publicly.