Llama on the lam: Island gun range’s mascot hasn’t been seen in two weeks

Llama on the lam: Island gun range's mascot hasn't been seen in two weeks
Facebook/Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association
Otis the llama is shown.

Otis the llama is on the lam, and that’s cause for concern at a local gun range.

The Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association located on the Malahat says it’s official mascot Otis, also known as Waldo, has been missing from the range for about two weeks.

“Two weeks ago on Thursday was the last day myself and all the people that were up there on that particular Thursday saw Otis,” said Doug Bancroft, president of the association. “We haven’t seen him since. Just, gone.”

Otis has disappeared before during a snowstorm in which he was found on the Malahat a week later, Bancroft said.

But usually, the llama sticks close to the gun range, where he seems to love interacting with the people who come and go daily — and has no fear of the sound of gunfire.

“It was a rare day when you didn’t see him there for you know, 10 hours at a time, just checking up on people,” said Bancroft.

But Otis hasn’t even returned for his food, which is unusual.

The range is now hoping people will keep an eye out for Otis.

In the meantime, Bancroft has some guesses as to what might have happened.

“There is about a 200-pound black bear that’s been around that facility in the archery range in the last couple of days,” he said. “So it’s possible that he got spooked by a close encounter with something that may have been his first time. And so we’re hoping that he’ll be found and somebody will lead him back to us.”

Bancroft said the gun range community has been helping out by flying drones to look for the llama, and on Saturday, a tracking dog that knows Otis will be deployed to see if he can pick up his scent.

The range is asking anyone who sees Otis — described as a white, adult llama — on neighbouring properties or in the general area, to contact them immediately at 250-858-8342 or sending them a message on Facebook.


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