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a beautiful spotted lynx staring off into the distance in the snow

Drayton Valley Shows Orphaned Lynx Some Love

WILDNorth has its paws full with the arrival of a unique animal

In January, WILDNorth Alberta received an unusual call from Fish and Wildlife officers saying they had recovered a “unique animal.”

It turns out that this unique animal was a young lynx, which WILDNorth has named Hunter. But Hunter’s recovery was a tragic one. She and her sibling were found wandering around their deceased mother.

Fish and Wildlife believe the mother was hit by a vehicle, leaving the two young lynx on their own. While Hunter was captured, her sibling wasn’t found.

“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,” Dale Gienow, the rescue’s executive director, told CTV News Edmonton.

Usually, around ten months old, lynx leave their mothers to live on their own. But Hunter is only about seven or eight months. She likely wouldn’t be able to survive as an orphan in the wild.

Hunter was also slightly underweight and dehydrated, which wouldn’t have helped her odds.

A picture of Hunter the lynx staring into the camera in their enclosure
Hunter the orphaned lynx in their enclosure | WILDNorth Facebook Page

Thankfully, WILDNorth has taken the young lynx under their wing. The organization named Hunter after the Edmonton Oilers mascot. But it’s important to note that Hunter isn’t the organization’s pet.

In order to eventually survive on her own, Hunter can’t become too friendly with humans. This is especially true of carnivores like Hunter and bears, wolves, and cougars.

If a predator were to become comfortable around humans, it might approach them. Now imagine if a predator approached you. The situation could end with more than soiled pants, depending on how you react.

That being said, WILDNorth has no intention of keeping Hunter longer than they need to. The organization plans to release Hunter back into the Drayton Valley area sometime in the spring.

Although WILDNorth cares for Hunter from a distance, the organization couldn’t be happier to have her in its care.

WILDNorth has been around for 33 years. During that entire time, the organization has never taken care of a lynx. You’d be pretty excited, right?

“We don’t come across them very often…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,” said Gienow.  

Hunter is certainly a unique visitor. Hopefully, Hunter will be reunited with her sister soon.

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