Great conservation officer

I am so impressed with the conservation officer who looked after the two bear cubs from Port Hardy.

Conservation: the action of preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystem, vegetation, and wildlife.

I am so impressed with the conservation officer who looked after the two bear cubs from Port Hardy.

It is wonderful to see a person with a moral compass, who did his job as it should have been. I find the Ministry of Environment and the officials dictating orders are too quick to kill when it comes to black bears.

Two incidents come to mind. I worked in the remote areas of B.C. and we had a problem with a black bear in camp. We called the conservation office and told them our concerns. Was it a grizzly? No, we said, it was a black Bear. Reply: “go ahead and dispose of it, Black Bears have no economic value.”

We lived in Coquitlam for years and a poor little black bear came down from the hills and got stuck in the city.  The traffic, the noise, the people gathering to watch it was just too much for the little guy. Up a tree he went and stayed there. The conservation officer was going to tranquilize him but an elementary school was about to let the kids go for the day and the sedative was going to take time to take effect. They blasted the little guy out of that tree. All they had to do was keep the children in the school for an extra 15 minutes but no. Human schedules came first and wildlife had to die.

I have a difficult time reconciling a person in an office dictating a kill order to an officer who is on site evaluating the situation. Killing was not warranted. The officer in the field made a judgment call with all the facts in hand. No one in an office has the right to order a kill just because it is expedient in closing a case. That is not the purpose of a conservation officer.

The two baby bears deserve a chance to live. The officer on site made the right choice. Well done.

Common sense has to prevail when decisions are made. The office should have trusted their officer’s decision.

And if the conservation office is still concerned then relocate those bears to somewhere remote and leave them alone. The North Island Wildlife Recovery Association will fatten them up and prepare them to go their own way when they are old enough. And that is the meaning of conservation.

Elaine ThompsonParksville

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