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

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: A brief history of Bear Creek Camp

Malahat Logging Company began both Beach Camp and Bear Creek Camp

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read