After 7 Weeks in Jasper National Park, Adventure Cat Draco Finally Rescued and Reunited With Family
With the help of good Samaritans and a little bit of magic, Draco the adventure cat came home after seven long weeks lost in the wilderness of Jasper National Park.
The park is special to Alix Jena Lizaire and Jean-François Lizaire of Edmonton, Canada. It's special to their two adventure companions too—cats Draco Malfoy and Sirius Black. "Draco's favorite trail is the Valley of Five Lakes," Alix tells Daily Paws. While Sirius prefers to take in the sights from his backpack, Draco bops along the hilly trail, happy tail up. "The only time he lets us carry him on the trail is over the two bridges, he's scared of water," Alix says.
But on August 19, an adventure cat parent's worst nightmare came true. Draco became spooked and slipped his harness.
They were on the narrowest part of the trail—sandwiched between a steep incline and the lake valley. In front of them were hikers carrying a canoe above their heads. "Draco had never seen that before, and I think to him it looked like a big, scary monster," Alix says.
"We've trained him to jump on our shoulders or in his backpack when he's scared," Alix explains. But the hikers, and the big scary monster, were quickly approaching.
It was that moment that Draco seemed to have used a vanishing spell, his harness secured to his leash but with no Draco inside.
"We spent ten hours that first day scouring the forest. It was raining and we were soaked by the time we finally accepted defeat and left," Alix shares.
Alix and Jean-François returned to the trail every single day of their vacation. Their vacation ended; days were turning into weeks. "Especially when you go days and days without a sighting, we thought for sure a coyote got him or he fell and hurt himself. We tried not to think about it too much and every time there was a new sighting it reignited our hope," Alix says.
Over time, Draco was spotted numerous times along the trail, leaving a cookie crumb path of half-mice along the way. He had even crossed the bridge that he was so scared to walk all those times before.
"Draco is definitely not a Slytherin, he's a Hufflepuff," Alix swears. But it seems that adventure cat Draco and on-screen Draco Malfoy have one thing in common: unwavering drive.
Week after week Parks Canada and a group of kind-hearted good Samaritans tracked Draco, tempting him with treats and meals and careful not to disturb other wildlife. After seven long weeks, their dedication paid off. Draco was coaxed into a wildlife live trap.
Once she heard the news he'd been found, Alix was overwhelmed with anticipation to see Draco, but she was worried about the state he might be in.
"He was clearly thriving as a wild cat," laughs Alix. "I was worried he was going to be feral, unapproachable. But as soon as they got in him the trap he basically remembered, 'oh yeah, I'm a house cat.'" In fact, he ran straight into Alix's arms.
Draco is happily at home and perfectly healthy minus a couple of pounds. He is enjoying extra cuddles from mom Alix and dad Jean-François. After a bath to wash off the forest smells, he will soon be reuniting with his brother Sirius.
Alix thanks Parks Canada and the local community including Maria, Rachel, and Owain who took time from their lives and trips to help Draco come home. While Draco will be on house arrest this winter, Alix has a few pieces of advice for other adventure cat parents. "Listen to your pets as best as you can. And if something happens, remember that they're stronger than a lot of people give them credit for. Don't give up."