B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

A cougar kitten is getting a second lease on life after it was discovered hungry and frostbitten just outside of Williams Lake last weekend.

Sgt. Jeff Tyre of the Conservation Officer Service said the young animal was live-trapped in a subdivision just west of the city Saturday, Jan. 13, after it had been fending for itself for almost a month since its mother was struck and killed on Highway 20 near Chimney Valley Road Dec. 20.

“We suspected there were kittens around but we hadn’t had any reports,” Tyre said, noting he was alerted by a Facebook post that the kitten was in a backyard.

Officers contacted the homeowner and set up the trap, catching the kitten that evening.

Except for being dehydrated and having frostbitten ears from the extreme cold spells over Christmas, a veterinarian gave the kitten a clean bill of health and recommendations on feeding, while the officers got to work looking for alternatives.

“Putting him down was not an option, it wasn’t something we wanted to do. We’ve been exploring every option,” Tyre said, confirming Wednesday he and fellow conservation officer Ron LeBlanc will be transporting the young animal to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove Monday, where it will have a permanent home.

LeBlanc, who has been caring for the kitten at his own home at 150 Mile House, said he feels it is a privilege to be able to work with animals. Being able to make a difference is one of the biggest perks of his job.

“This is why I joined the COS, to help the animals and police the resources and when you get a little cat like this and you’re able to save it … we’re super happy about that,” said LeBlanc, who named the kitten Charles because “it sounded like royalty.”

Read more: Bella Coola sow grizzly destroyed, cub sent to Smithers rehab centre

Read more: Cougars exhibiting dangerous behaviours removed from remote community

Tyre said before they committed the kitten to the zoo, they weighed all their options.

He said the kitten is too young for release back into the wild.

“He doesn’t know how to fend for himself properly. He doesn’t have his mom to teach him how to feed or forage for food. So, given his age, we don’t feel he’s a good candidate for relocation.”

Rehabilitation also isn’t an option for the kitten, as there are no rehab facility for wild cats in North America.

Living at a game facility or zoo was the animal’s best option.

“Sometimes you wonder if you should let nature take its course but nature wasn’t what hit his mother on the road that day so we will step in, it’s our responsibility. It’s humans that caused the mother’s fatality so we’re going to help the kitten out.”

 

The orphaned kitten found in the Cariboo last week was inspected by a veterinarian, who found the young animal was dehydrated and was suffering from frostbitten ears and a bite mark, possibly from a dog. (photo submitted)

Sgt. Jeff Tyre and C.O. Ron LeBlanc of the Conservation Officer Service are pleased they were able to find a home for a two-month-old orphaned cougar kitten at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. The two are personally escorting the kitten LeBlanc named Charles to the Lower Mainland Monday. Angie Mindus photo

Just Posted

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Vehicle knocks out Parksville power pole

Traffic single lane heading southbound

Qualicum Beach man arrested after women report disturbing phone calls

Suspect threatened to kill victim’s family if she did not engage in sexually explicit conversation

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Highway 19A closed in both directions near Union Bay

An incident involving a vehicle has shut down Highway 19A in both directions early Saturday morning.

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read