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Ricky Gervais Backs Suspended Bear Rescuer

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Ricky Gervais is among thousands of people demanding the reinstatement of a Canadian conservation officer who was suspended after refusing to kill two bear cubs.

Bryce Casavant found the black bear cubs up a tree near Port Hardy, British Columbia, after their mother was killed for raiding a freezer full of meat and salmon.

Mr Casavant was meant to follow an order to shoot and kill the orphaned animals but instead decided to take them to a shelter.

"They (firefighters) had their high-angle rescue specialist scale the tree and rappel down on top of the bears to lower them to me. I then tranquilised them by hand," said Mr Casavant.

Justin Reusch, of Port Hardy Fire Department, said: "They did nothing wrong and the order to destroy them came in even before we had the little things out of the tree. I'm not sure how a decision can be made so quickly based on so little information from so far away."

The cubs are thought to be around eight weeks old.

Gervais, who is an outspoken animal rights campaigner, tweeted: "Bryce Casavant, conservation officer, suspended for refusing to kill bear cubs ... Reinstate this honourable man."

A petition has been signed by nearly 71,000 people calling for the Conservation Officer Service to let Mr Casavant go back to work.

Mary Polak, British Columbia environment minister, said an internal investigation was under way.


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