Letter PQ News: Port Hardy Cubs Need Some Fairness and So Does Officer Bryce Casavant

http://www.pqbnews.com/opinion/letters/317838591.html in response to article      July 14th: Famous Bear Cubs Calling Errington Home for Now by Carli Berry http://www.pqbnews.com/news/315038451.html

Dear Editor,

In 2004 I was involved in a ‘save the cubs’ campaign on the North Shore, very much like the one playing out in Errington at this present time, minus social media.

Our conservation officer killed a yearling cub and a cub of the year with a lethal injection of a tranquilizer drug, kids and media watching.

A short time later another cub of the year was rescued by a District of North Vancouver park ranger and myself and then he too was killed in front of us because he was deemed ‘habituated’ and ‘food conditioned’ by the powers that be in Victoria.

That was the straw that broke the public confidence in the conservation officer service (COS) to do the right and humane thing. Intuitively, the public understand what we in the bear world know to be true: cubs of the year (COY) are not ‘habituated’ to humans forever or ‘food conditioned’ to garbage forever if rehabbed properly and given a remote location release.

This has been proven time and time again over many years with thousands of cubs of the year being successfully released around the world regardless of their early experience before 12 months of age.

There are many experts who have compiled and reported on the data and the Ministry of the Environment have these reports.

So why do they not set policy which reflects known science? Why does the COS create such a long, drawn-out media frenzy over two tiny cubs? It boggles my mind. Here we are 11 years later fighting again to save cubs from a senseless kill order at the same time fighting to save a man’s career in the public service?

Many, many undiscovered orphan cubs in B.C. are left to die as a result of the spring bear hunt, vehicle strikes, industrial development and nuisance mothers.

When we, as a community, learn about a few token cubs that can be rescued and taken to a privately funded, non-profit rehabilitation facility we expect that to happen without drama or spectacle. All we ask of the government is to let us bring a tiny bit of fairness to a tiny newborn bear in an increasingly unfair world.

 Barbara Murray, B.C. Bear Advocate

Nanoose Bay

 

https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-environment-mary-polak-reinstate-conservation-officer-bryce-casavant  Fundraiser for two cubs to be released next spring: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e110N6?psid=bdacbaf4e7f248edaf99f06e0d2c96a2

Dear Editor, (Unedited Version with Photos)

In 2004 I was involved in a ’save the cubs’ campaign on the North Shore, very much like the one playing out in Errington at this present time, minus social media. Our conservation officer killed a yearling cub and a cub of the year with a lethal injection of a tranquilizer drug, kids and media watching.

BCDeadCubs
Photo appeared on the front page of the North Shore News by Terry Peters.  Conservation Officer received death threats after photo released. These cubs were both feeding off garbage and being fed by people in a busy urban area.

A short time later another cub of the year was rescued by District of North Vancouver Park Ranger and myself and then he too was killed in front of us because he was deemed ‘habituated’ and ‘food conditioned’ by the powers that be in Victoria. This is the photo we took of him after his rescue and it was subsequently used in an article about his tragic death on the front page of the North Shore News.

Cub-Nov 17'04

That was the straw that broke the public confidence in the COS to do the right and humane thing.  Intuitively, the public understand what we in the bear world know to be true, cubs of the year (COY) are not ‘habituated’ to humans forever or ‘food conditioned’ to garbage forever if rehabbed properly and given a remote location release. This has been proven time and time again over many years with thousands of cubs of the year being successfully released around the world regardless of their early experience before 12mos of age.

There are many experts who have compiled and reported on the data and the Ministry of the Environment have these reports. So why do they not set policy which reflects known science? Why does the Conservation Officer Service create such a long, drawn out media frenzy over two tiny cubs? It boggles my mind. Here we are 11 years later fighting again to save cubs from a senseless kill order at the same time fighting to save a man’s career in the public service?

Care4thebears G&M

Photo: Care4Bears Kids Campaign Article in Globe and Mail

Our North Shore campaign in ’04, with help from the Care4Bears Kids and their website, worked so well we had Environment Ministers Barisoff (’04)and Penner (’05-09) and Premier Campbell publicly proclaiming that the government of the day endorsed orphan cubs of the year(COY) rehabilitation and that wherever possible the Conservation Officer Service were to rescue cubs and take them to a government permitted (not govt funded) facility.

Many, many undiscovered orphan cubs in BC are left to die as a result of the Spring bear hunt, vehicle strikes, industrial development and nuisance mothers. When we, as a community, learn about a few token cubs that can be rescued and taken to a privately funded, non-profit rehabilitation facility we expect that to happen without drama or spectacle! All we ask of the government is to let us bring a tiny bit of fairness to a tiny newborn bear in an increasingly unfair world.

Barbara Murray,                                                                                               B.C. Bear Advocate,(Bears Matter)                                                                                            Nanoose Bay, BC                                                                                            P.S. More photos from North Shore Campaign to Allow Orphan Cubs a chance to be wild thru non-profit bear rehabilitation.

Holi Cub

North Shore Cub Holly being transported to Critter Care in Langley-she and four others were the first ever to be released back in to the wild from the Lower Mainland by a rehabber in 2005. Since then Critter Care returns orphan cubs to the wild each spring. .

C4B's -NS News 2Care4thebears G&M0001.

 

 

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