Aldergrove, B.C. – (February 5, 2018) – “We are very thankful that the BC Conservation Officer Service got him when they did,” says Greater Vancouver Zoo veterinarian Dr. Bruce Burton, “Any later may have been too late for this little fella.”
The orphaned cougar cub was found hiding underneath the deck of a home near Williams Lake, B.C., January 13, 2018. The cub was transported to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in the hopes of receiving a promising future. The zoo’s animal care team’s first priority was to evaluate the cub’s health and to provide him with everything he needed to make a strong and speedy recovery.
“Upon initial examination, the cub appeared to be in reasonable shape. He appeared thin but was eating and drinking,” Dr. Burton says. “Once strong enough, we were able to sedate him for a more thorough examination. He has damage to the tips of his ears due to frost bite, sores on his hind limbs most likely from the conditions he was surviving in, was underweight and dehydrated. We cleaned him up and treated him with fluid therapy and antibiotics. He responded well to the treatment and seems to be improving but is not out of the woods yet.”
Greater Vancouver Zoo animal care manager Menita Prasad says cubs typically remain with their mothers for up to two years in the wild, learning how to survive and hunt efficiently, “The fact that he survived for a month on his own in the wild at this stage in his life is a miracle in itself. Zoo staff are pleased with the cub’s progress thus far. He has almost doubled in weight since his arrival and is gaining strength each day.” If the Greater Vancouver Zoo did not agree to take in this cub the alternative would not have been a positive one.
Cougars (Puma concolor) are the second largest cats in the Americas. They are nocturnal, adapted for hunting, are masters of camouflage and, as such, are extremely elusive.