Campbell River Mirror

Cougar kills llama in York Road area

Conservation officers check out the remains of Raven, a female llama killed by a cougar on Friday night, in a field near York Road and the Island Highway. - Photo courtesy Rosemary Ladouceur
Conservation officers check out the remains of Raven, a female llama killed by a cougar on Friday night, in a field near York Road and the Island Highway.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Rosemary Ladouceur

The “Llama Lady” is mourning the loss one of her beloved animals and is also warning the public about a cougar in the York Road area.

Rosemary Ladouceur awoke Saturday morning and went looking for “Raven” who had gone missing the previous night.

It didn’t take long. The black nine-year-old female llama was found dead in a puddle of water, the victim of a cougar attack.

“Very nasty,” said Ladouceur, who calls herself the Llama Lady and keeps a dozen llamas at Spring Valley Farm on Deerfield Road.

She also leases another field on Baxandall Road, closer to York Road and the Island Highway. After finishing her chores on Friday night, Ladouceur went to gather the llamas.

She noticed most of them were staying close to the barn when she also noticed that Raven was missing. With flashlight in hand, Ladouceur checked the pasture and fence line, but couldn’t find her.

The next morning, she did find Raven and suspected the llama had been killed by a cougar.

So Ladouceur called conservation officers who arrived and confirmed a cougar was responsible.

“There were serious head injuries – the skull plate was broken,” said conservation officer James Hilgemann. “It’s unfortunate – it was probably a large two- to three-year-old male cat.”

Hilgemann confirmed that at least two residents in the York Road area had reported seeing a cougar in the previous week.

The cougar that killed the llama had begun feeding on the animal’s torso when it was apparently scared off by Ladouceur’s dog.

Surprisingly, it did not return on Friday night, so officers baited a trap, set up a motion-sensor camera and waited. However, as of Tuesday, the cat had not been caught which concerns Ladouceur.

“I am especially concerned this cat might go after one of the school kids waiting for the bus, as it’s barely light at that time in the morning,” she said. “I think it would be a good idea to give people in the area a warning.”

After the fatal attack, Ladouceur moved all the llamas to her own barn. She’s never had a problem with cougars before and this incident leaves her feeling uneasy.

“I’m a little nervous about going back (to the field),” she said.

“I would like to compliment the Conservation Officers and thank them for all they have done in an attempt to capture this big cat before it does any more damage.

“The officers were very professional, yet sensitive to the fact that I had just lost a very precious animal – not to mention my monetary loss. While I realize there are always cougars out there, it is rare to have one attack livestock.”

To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety, call 1-877-952-7277

 

paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

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