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

Sunshine Valley songbird releases EP

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Pater has been singing and performing since age 9

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Hope stylist holds hair-athon for a good cause

Shayla Ross donating all proceeds of $10 cuts to the food bank

Hope arena turns green for hockey tourney

A second attempt at green ice, with proper ice paint, after food colouring experiment last year

Project Hope celebrates first birthday

Also: lego-mania comes to town, lineup of all-female comedians entertains Friday

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read