Animal rescue organization calls for better training of COs before province becomes 'barren B.C.' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Animal rescue organization calls for better training of COs before province becomes 'barren B.C.'

FILE - A black bear cub is pictured in the Dawson Creek, B.C., area on May 6, 2016, before it was destroyed by a conservation officer.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-The Fur-Bearers-Tiana Jackson MANDATORY CREDIT

An animal rescue group is calling for better training of conservation officers and more relocations of bears after what they consider to be the questionable treatment of a cub that was found earlier this month.

Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley, said a black bear cub arrived at the centre the evening of Jan. 14 at approximately 8.30 p.m. in -9 C weather.

“We received a bear cub from Port Moody. He came into the centre sedated on the open bed of a CO's pickup truck in a kennel open to the elements,” reads the post.

After warming up the bear, they wrote in a Facebook post, that they asked the conservation officer how much sedation was given and they “were not surprised to learn” the creature had been over-sedated.

“The addition of not being kept warm could have resulted in the bear cub dying. It was -9 C and the bear was in the open bed of a truck,”   reads the post.

“Staff have offered COs blankets in the past and covers for transporting animals to ensure that they are warm when they arrive at the centre. The majority refuse."

Staff offered  the CO blankets which he accepted.

"He then went on to tell another member of staff that he didn’t need them as “the wind doesn’t get back of the truck," reads the post.

They point to the video they posted and say that it’s evident that the bear had ice on his fur and his temperature was very low.

“Fortunately, with the help of dedicated staff and interns, we were able to bring this bear back from the brink,” reads the post.

“Warming the bear up slowly and providing round the clock care managed to save the bear's life. He is 40 pounds and received six cc of sedation when he only needed one to two.”

At Critter Care Wildlife Society, they wrote, all staff/interns/volunteers put huge amounts of extra hours to help the running of this centre and provide the correct care for wildlife.

“Bear management and COS policy need to change,” they wrote.

“High fines for the attraction and feeding of wildlife. Bear relocation needs to be implemented - it works, studies in the states show how useful it is and its success rates. This needs to be implemented. The attitude of dealing with these animals needs to change, relocate and rehabilitate rather than kill. Otherwise, we will have little to no wildlife left and beautiful British Columba will become {barren} British Columbia as we will have little to no wildlife which makes our country so beautiful.”

Critter Care Wildlife Society said wrote respect Conservation Officers that care for the wildlife and try to conserve it. However, protocols and policies need to be revised in the conservation department.

“Correct sedation, better transport, better education on the behaviour and ecology of not only black bears but all of B.C wildlife,” they wrote.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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