A conservation officer who was fired for refusing to kill bear cubs has just won his years-long legal battle to clear his name...
A conservation officer has just received justice after being fired for refusing to kill bear cubs...
via: GettyBut firstly, let's start from the beginning.
Out of the numerous species of bears...The majority have proven to be extremely dangerous towards us humans and they are most certainly not an animal to be reckoned with.
Species such as grizzly bears and brown bears are known for being very territorial...And they will react quickly if they feel surprised or threatened.
Bears have a better sense of smell than dogs and they love humans' food.
via: GettyAccording to National Geographic, people who spend a lot of time in the outdoors are at a much higher risk of unwillingly attracting a bear. "If you're a hiker, be more careful about various kinds of scents and things that you would have on you - such as food, deodorant, and even chewing gum."
These creatures are also unbelievably strong.
via: GettyOn average, a grizzly bear can weigh up to 700 lbs and they can reach speeds of up to 40 mph - making it physically impossible for us humans to outrun a bear.
So if a bear was to attack...We wouldn't stand a chance.
This is why conservationists strive to keep bears as far away from humans as possible...
via: GettyFor their own safety.
Conservation officers work tirelessly here in America and Canada to keep bears as safe as possible...
via: GettyAnd they also respond to incidents involving bears - especially when they break into people's homes. Now, this is where we come back to the conservation officer in question...
Back in 2015, Bryce Casavant - a Canadian conservation officer - responded to a call made by worried residents.A black bear was spotted in a mobile home park near the British Colombia town of Port Hardy rummaging through a freezer full of salmon and meat.
When Bryce arrived, he shot and killed the bear on site.
via: GettyThis was under the province’s policy – in which a bear has to be killed if it is seen to be reliant on human food.
But it didn't take Bryce long to realize the bear had cubs waiting for her.
via: GettyLocals stressed to the officer that the cubs hadn't been eating from the food supplies in the town, which lead him to make the decision to not shoot the babies.
Bryce instead took the cubs to a veterinarian who assessed them...
via: GettyAnd they were later transferred to the North Island Recovery Centre which went on to release them back into the wild.
Seems fair enough, right?
via: GettyWrong. Because of Bryce's refusal to follow the order to kill the cubs, his supervising officer filed a complaint against him and a day later, a formal Notice of Complaint was issued alleging "the disciplinary default of neglect of duty."
He was then suspended pending an investigation into the allegation, before being fired shortly afterward.
via: FacebookBryce wasn't willing to go down without a fight, however, and he has spent the last few years fighting his termination.
And finally, this week...
via: FacebookThe British Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in his favor. "I feel like the black clouds that have hung over my family for years are finally starting to part," Casavant told The Guardian. "But the moment is bittersweet – my firing should have never happened in the first place."
via: Facebook"I kept fighting so that I could clear my name. I’ve long stood for public service, honor, and integrity. It’s how I was raised and how I’ve raised my daughter. I really feel that I was targeted."
Bryce has been a leading critic of the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service’s practices since he was fired...
via: GettyAnd he has been a vocal advocate of establishing independent oversight over the body. He has also helped others who are opposing the way BC conservation officers carry out their duties, with many criticizing them for killing bears too readily.
Bryce has been working with conservation group Pacific Wild, and they found more than 4,500 bears had been killed by conservation officers in the province over the last 8 years.
via: Facebook"British Columbia isn’t a shooting gallery for government employees," he wrote in the report. "It’s unreasonable to believe that, including juvenile bear cubs, over 4,000 black bears were killed 'as a last resort'."
Ultimately, the court’s judgment does not reinstate Bryce as a conservation officer...
via: FacebookBut he continues to work to improve the body’s practices.
via: FacebookMake sure to keep scrolling to read about the population of bears quadrupling in Yosemite National Park...