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 dependent on this prey that their populations fluctuate whenever showshoe hare numbers drop. They will also eat mice, squirrels, and birds.
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. Snowmobiling 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.
- Height: Head and Body: 32 – 40 inches, Tail: 4 – 8 inches
- Weight: 22-44 lbs.
- Lifespan: 10-15 Years
Our Current Residents
Fierca - Female - Born spring 2011
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 does an excellent job representing her species on many school programs, both at the zoo and within the community year round.
OP - Born 2009, Male
When Fierca isn't out participating in an Education program, she can be seen in her habitat with her friend OP, who joined us in the winter of 2014. OP'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.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Felidae
- Genus: Lynx
- Species: Lynx canadensis
- Boreal Forest
- Nocturnal Hunter