Six months later, rescued Cariboo cougar cub doing “fantastic”

Rocket finds a friend, Rosie, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo

An orphaned cougar cub rescued near Williams Lake last winter is thriving and making new friends while settling into his home at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Menita Prasad, the animal care manager at the zoo, reports that ‘Rocket’ is doing “fantastic” after six months at the facility.

“Given his body condition upon arrival, we were very pleased with his progress,” said Prasad. “He transitioned to solid foods quickly and began gaining weight almost immediately.”

Rocket was originally transported to the zoo by members of the Conservation Officer Service (COS), Cariboo Chilcotin region, in January where immediate care was administered by the zoo’s veterinarian and animal health team.

He was just a small cub when he was found underweight and dehydrated under a porch in the Esler area where his ears had frostbite and he had sores on his hind legs after fending for himself during a long cold spell of -30C weather.

Read more: Cougar kitten rescued near Williams Lake

After being rescued by the COS, with officer Ron LeBlanc even keeping the cub in his garage for a few days — zoo staff received Rocket and cleaned him up with fluid therapy and antibiotics.

Rocket was recently transferred from the Animal Care Centre at the zoo to an outdoor enclosure on display in the North American Wilds section with another cougar cub named Rosie, who was transferred to the zoo from the Invermere Veterinary Hospital where their staff nurtured the cub back to health from major head trauma injuries sustained being hit on the road.

Prasad said the vet team were able to reduce head swelling and eye damage, and she has since made a full recovery.

“Rosie interestingly enough showed no fear or aggression towards vet or COS, rare for a wild cat,” Prasad said, noting Rocket and Rosie have formed a very special bond.

“They took to each other almost immediately. They are incredibly affectionate and like most cubs are very playful.”

The two are now becoming familiar with all the sights and sounds of the Zoo which includes animals and people. She said the zoo is providing an enriching environment for the cougars while increasing public awareness on human-wildlife conflict and what others can do if they see a cub out in the wild, as the spring and summer months there is an increase in incidents of conflict with humans.

“With the introduction to Rosie and the transfer to their new home, we have seen a tremendous shift in his personality from when he first arrived. He has transformed from a scared little cub to a brave little man. There is no doubt in our minds that he is going to grow up to be an impressive adult male,” Prasad said.

Rocket’s days at the zoo are spent discovering his new surroundings, becoming familiar with new sights and sounds, and making progress with behavioural training, Prasad said, adding he is a permanent part of their zoo family now.

“We are committed to providing Rocket with a loving home.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TNG block roads, question gov’t on moose hunt

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

UBCM passes historic resolution brought forth by CCRD

If the resolution is successfully realized, it will mean groundbreaking change for local governments

Bella Coola RCMP appeal for public’s help in wake of suspicious fires

Four suspicious fires in the span of four months prompted local RCMP to bring in fire specialist

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Series of suspicious fires prompt Bella Coola RCMP to bring in special investigator

Police investigate four fires set between June and Sept. in 4-Mile

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

Most Read