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Common Name: Canada Lynx

Scientific Name: Lynx canadensis

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: felidae

Height: Head and Body: 32 - 40 inches, Tail: 4 - 8 inches

Weight:   22-44 lbs.

Lifespan:  10-15 Years

 
 

  • Tufts on ears help to channel sound, providing exceptional hearing.  Eyesight is also so strong that a lynx can spot a mouse 250 feet away.

 

  • The lynx is one half of a classic predator-prey relationship, feeding almost exclusively on snowshoe hare.  They are so dependant on this prey that their populations fluctuate whenever showshoe hare numbers drop.  They will also eat mice, squirrels, and birds.

 

  • The Canada Lynx is very stealthy.  As nighttime hunters, they are rarely seen by humans.

 

  • Their large paws are covered in fur and hit the ground with a spreading motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes.

 

  • Prey are normally stalked and then pounced upon, although some lynx will wait in ambush for hours.

 

  • Major threats to the Canada Lynx are habitat loss due to fire suppression and trapping.  Snowmoboling near lynx habitat is an increasing threat.  Other species such as bobcats and coyotes also compete for lynx resources.

 

  • Lynx are usually solitary animals, but will occasionally travel together in small groups.

     

  • In the spring, lynx may give birth to 2-6 kittens after a gestation period of about 70 days.  The young will stay with the mother for around 9 months so she can look after them during their first winter.

 

  

 

Currently at ZooMontana:

 

Fierca - Born spring 2011,  Current Education Animal Ambassador.

Opi

 

Fierca came to us in the fall of 2013.  She was raised by private individuals for use in educational school programs.  She grew up being around groups of people and other animals, so she is very used to being in program settings.  When her owners decided to no longer present these programs and moved out of state, Fierca came to ZooMontana to join our Animal Ambassador program.  Through training, she got accustomed to being on a collar and leash and going on walks around the zoo with her trainers.  She doeas an excellent job representing her species on many school programs, both at the zoo and within the community year round.

When Fierca isn't out and about, she can be seen in her habitat with her friend Opi, who joined us in the winter of 2014.  Opi's name, believe it or not, is short for Optimus Prime for all of you 'Transformers' fans out there.  He came to ZooMontana with this name and we're not quite sure why he was given it, but it sure is fun!  He is typically more low key and calmer than Fierca most of the time, but he's still pretty playful.  Sometimes, you can see Fierca and him playing together, running and jumping through their habitat. 

We always say that "a cat is a cat" meaning that, sometimes, even wild cats show us behaviors that we can see in our cats at home.  They both enjoy being in high places and can often be seen on top of the rockwork in their home.  And, of course, anytime they are given a large box, they will both jump right in for a catnap just like most house cats will.

 

 

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