A cougar kitten, estimated to be about two months old, will be finding a new home at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Angie Mindus photo

Cougar kitten rescued near Williams Lake

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten after mother struck by vehicle

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 facilities 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

 

Sgt. Jeff Tyre and C.O. Ron LeBlanc of the Conservation Officer Service are pleased they found a home for an orphaned cougar kitten. Angie Mindus photo

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)

Just Posted

Editorial: Have your say on changes to assisted dying law

In June of 2016 Canadians gained the right to physician assisted death — but there were caveats

Kind-hearted road worker takes home discarded bin of pet rats at Highway 20 rest stop

Maddy McCarthy said she will find the nine pets loving homes

Horsefly community hosts party celebrating skating rink grand opening

The community of Horsefly hosted a party celebrating the opening of its new, outdoor skating rink

Reported ‘armed and barricaded’ male safely apprehended by 100 Mile RCMP

The male was taken to the local hospital for further assessment by a physician

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read