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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

2020 BC Curling Championships underway in Cranbrook

The 2020 BC Curling Championships are underway at Western Financial Place in… Continue reading

Kimberley/Cranbrook entertainment listings

Pictured above: The cast of Cranbrook Community Theatre’s “The Fighting Days,” which… Continue reading

Cranbrook Bucks sign first player to team

The Key City’s newest hockey franchise has begun to take shape as… Continue reading

Columbia Valley RCMP searching for missing Invermere woman

Police believe Belinda Eugene may be hitch hiking to the Kamloops area

Final preparations, practicing at WFP ahead of BC Curling Championships

Western Financial Place was a hive of activity on Monday, Jan. 27… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Most Read