The Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association is asking for the public’s help in finding the gun range’s unofficial mascot, Otis the llama. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association/ Facebook)

The Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association is asking for the public’s help in finding the gun range’s unofficial mascot, Otis the llama. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association/ Facebook)

Missing llama has Malahat gun range on the hunt

Otis the llama, a range regular, has been missing for about two weeks

The search is on for Otis, a missing llama who found his true family at a gun range off the Malahat.

The beloved feral Otis is no stranger to giving Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association shooters a scare as he regularly roams onto the range, causing an immediate ceasefire. But their current concern has been not seeing Otis for two weeks now. The association’s members and volunteers have been combing through the woods and flying drones in the area in efforts to find him.

Otis originally lived on property adjacent to the range, but there was never a fence holding him in, so he would regularly wander over. The property’s owner got old and moved on, but Otis stuck around.

“He likes us and he’s not afraid of firearm use,” said Doug Bancroft, the association’s president. “Every now and then you have to close off a rifle or a pistol bay because he’s at the far end where people are shooting towards.”

That laissez-faire attitude towards the active gun range initially earned the llama the nickname Waldo, as shooters had to always ask “Where’s Waldo today” before firing. It wasn’t until a little while later that the association learned their unofficial mascot actually goes by Otis.

“We’re very attached to him,” Bancroft said. “The kids love him, everybody does.”

READ: Arrests continued Wednesday at Vancouver Island logging protest camps

Otis’ presence isn’t just felt downrange. The llama will let about a handful of members feed him by hand and he lets two others pet him. Otis wanders freely, but the association does bring in a vet once a year to give him a check-up. They even brought in another llama for him to meet to see if a rescue farm might be a better home for him. That plan didn’t work out.

“(He has) no interest in anyone but the range people,” Bancroft said.

During the search, Bancroft said they found some tracks left by Otis about a week ago, but there was also some black bear scat nearby. Otis has scared cougars away from the range in the past, but Bancroft fears he might have had a close encounter with a bear that spooked him. The search hasn’t found any evidence that Otis has been harmed.

The friendly llama is a bit of a homebody as he never strays too far from the range, and rarely travels more than half a kilometre away. A forestry company that neighbours the range has already assured them they’re also on the lookout for Otis, but Bancroft is appealing to the public to help find him.

In the past, Otis has been featured on the association’s merchandise, donning a pair of sunglasses and accompanied by the phrase “No prob-llama.”

“He’s pretty iconic and he’s not going to be around forever, but we’ve certainly enjoyed the six years since he adopted us,” Bancroft said.

Anyone who sees Otis can call 250-858-8342 or message the association’s Facebook page.

READ: Victoria artist’s paintings bound for galactic gallery on the moon


Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

malahatWest Shore

Just Posted

EJ Dunn principal Darrin Olson, left, and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Councils Richard Samuel, right, present Trey Kyte, second from left, with his Grades 2-3 Spring Festival 2021 winning poster. With them are Kytes fellow banner painters Liam Horbatch, Sybil Purwins and Macen Avery. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
SD70’s biennial First Nations spring festival goes virtual for 2021

Alberni Valley schools showcase Indigenous learnings from past year

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read