Reddit | supremegalacticgod

Ex-Conservation Officer Wins Lawsuit After Being Fired For Not Killing Bear Cubs

Choosing to do what you feel is right over an order from a superior on the job is seldom easy to do. That's the choice Bryce Casavant faced back in 2015, and he went with what he felt was the right thing. For that, he was initially suspended, and eventually, it cost him his job.

Now, he's celebrating as a court finding over his dismissal has left him vindicated.

At the time, Casavant's situation made international headlines.

Facebook | Bryce Casavant

In 2015, Casavant responded to a call about a black bear that had entered a residence in Port Hardy, British Columbia and proceeded to eat some salmon from the freezer. As a Conservation Service Officer, he did his duty as regulations required and put the bear down.

However, the bear happened to have two cubs in tow, and that's where the trouble began.

While under BC law a bear that enters a home must be euthanized, Casavant said there was no evidence that the cubs had entered the home.

Facebook | Bryce Casavant

And so, he felt it would be wrong of him to put them down as well. One of his superiors emailed Casavant ordering him to euthanize the cubs, but he refused. Instead, he sent them to a veterinarian and then to a wildlife rehab center. The cubs were released back into the wild in 2016.

"That kill order is requiring me to discharge my service weapon. You know, there’s a whole host of issues with that. So, I didn’t kill them," Casavant told the Vancouver Sun.

However, not killing the cubs also came with many issues.

Unsplash | Marco Secchi

For refusing the order, Casavant was suspended and then, later, fired. Casavant's refusal to kill the cubs was specifically cited in his letter of dismissal, the Vancouver Sun reported.

"It is clear that you will continue to (not) follow instructions and policies in your capacity as a conservation officer if you disagree with them," the letter read. "You confirmed this in your interview with us, when you said that in the future, with the same information you would make the same decision and take the same action regarding the bear situation."

It's unclear if the court victory means Casavant will be reinstated.

Facebook | Bryce Casavant

Although Casavant told Global News that the victory "nullifies what's happened," and that "legally speaking, it’s like (the dismissal) never happened," the court left it up to Casavant's attorneys and the government to work out what comes next.

Still, for Casavant, the battle is only halfway over.

Facebook | Bryce Casavant

He told CTV News that he hopes that those responsible for his wrongful dismissal will face some consequences for their choices after a difficult five years of seeking justice.

Nevertheless, Casavant was feeling buoyed by the court's decision. "A guy can walk a little taller today," he told the Vancouver Sun.

h/t: Vancouver Sun, Global News, CTV News