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

Veteran defensive back returns to Valley Husker house

From the Huskers to the Saskatchewan Huskies and back, Danny Mills returns to the BCFC

One in custody after dramatic Abbotsford vehicle theft ends with rollover in Chilliwack

Prolific offender Michael Joseph Hasell facing numerous charges

Chilliwack hammer thrower finishes second at nationals

Rowan Hamilton’s throw was less than a metre behind the winner at the meet in Ottawa.

City crews rip out landscaping at Chilliwack park over-run with drug use

Homeless man says revamping the park will only put vulnerable people at further risk of overdose

UFV Cascades baseball team holding Falls fundraiser

The Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference team hits the golf course to raise money.

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read