Wild North rescues orphaned lynx cub near Drayton Valley
An orphaned lynx is getting some help surviving, thanks to an Alberta wildlife rehabilitation organization.
Last week, the Wild North Alberta wildlife rescue received a call from Fish and Wildlife that they had recovered a "unique animal."
"Some workers on a job site in Drayton Valley discovered a deceased lynx that had been hit by a vehicle on the road," explained Dale Gienow, the rescue's executive director.
The Fish and Wildlife officers found that two young kittens were lingering around their mother. One of the youngsters was successfully captured and brought to Wild North.
Typically, a young lynx stays with their mother until around 10 months old, at which point it would start to live by itself. This cub is around seven to eight months.
Gienow says efforts to locate the second kitten continue.
"[At that point] the survival rate for these guys would be pretty poor without mom, so we're very, very hopeful that they manage to capture the second sibling
In the meantime, Wild North's newest guest has been named Hunter, after the Edmonton Oilers mascot. She was slightly underweight and dehydrated, Gienow said, but is overall in "reasonable health."
"It'll never hear its name, but that's what we're calling it," Gienow added. "It's really important for us to maintain a healthy relationship with wild animals and is to say that we don't want them to get accustomed to us or over-socialized.
Hunter the lynx plays in his enclosure at the Wild North (Supplied).
"It's especially important when you're dealing with large carnivores, like a lynx," he said. "We have to be very careful that the animal doesn't see us, it doesn't hear us. We do our best to stay so it can't smell us."
Hunter will stay with the wildlife organization until the spring when it will be released back in the Drayton Valley area.
In 33 years of operation, Wild North has not taken care of a lynx, Gienow said.
"These guys are very reclusive," he added. "We don't come across them very often and they're top of the food chain, so not a lot of them compared to prey species that we might get a lot of."
"To put this in perspective, how rare this is, we receive about 3,500 patients every year."
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