A Canadian man claims he was fired from his job after saving a moose calf from a black bear.
Mark Skage, who worked as a fuel supplier for AFD Petroleum Inc., said in a Facebook post that he was on his way back from a job when he saw the calf alone on the highway in British Columbia.
He claimed to have spotted the black bear, which was waiting about 50yards away, and decided to place the calf, whom he called Misty in the back seat of his pickup truck.
“I made a decision at the time after she kept trying to climb into the work truck that I couldn’t just leave her there,” he wrote.
He claimed that he had communicated his concerns to the Conservation Officer Service, and was able to bring the moose back to safety.
The animal is now at a wildlife rehabilitation rehab center, where she will remain until she is ready to be released back into the wild.
According to Skage, this was not the final chapter of the tale.
He claimed that his employer fired him because they felt his actions were “in grave conflict” with the wildlife policy.
“The lesson I learned was AFD is ok spilling fuel on the ground but not helping wildlife,” he wrote.
Skage stated that the bears often attack moose.
“I just couldn’t do it, in my heart. You can tell whatever you want. I know as outdoorsmen, we talk about predator control. Black bears were the main predator of those calves. He told CBC News that he thought “Well, maybe I could try to help this little calf” but couldn’t stop the predator.
“It wasn’t just one moose calf that God saved. There were a lot of them. She’s gonna grow up and have lots of babies, and her babies will have babies. I think it’s a positive. I believe that in my heart,” he added.
Black bears are the biggest predators of moose calves in northern areas where grizzly bears are uncommon, with the animals killing about 40% of all moose calves that were born, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
AFD Petroleum Inc. defended its decision to let Skage go and said in a statement that his actions breached the company’s protocols.
“Instead of reporting the situation to a conservation officer and allowing the authorities to handle the rescue and relocation of the moose, the individual made the independent decision to transport an uninjured moose calf, a wild animal, in the front seat of his company vehicle for many hours,” AFD Petroleum president Dale Reimer said in a statement to CBC.
” “This puts not only the employee at risk, but could also cause distress or harm to the animal,” Reimer said.
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