Walking with cats: Eurasian lynx
The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized cat, native to Siberia, Central, East, and Southern Asia, North, Central and Eastern Europe. It lives in the wild close to where I live, but after decades of hanging out in the woods, I have never seen anything but a set of footprints in the snow. Once. They are extremely shy, stick to steep, rocky terrain. You could pass one a metre away and you would never know.
But up in the mountains, there is a farm and wildlife park called Langedrag that does some extraordinary things. Their lynx, with one exception, are remarkably tolerant of people. Though far from tame – they are wild animals – you can get pretty close. On the farm, a number of animals go free, among them a female reindeer with a calf… as you can see: the cats are still cats, pacing on the inside of the fence, and mock-pouncing on that juicy prey:
A month ago, one of their female lynx, Ingrid, gave birth to two (presumably) male kittens. And with luck, I got in on an exclusive visit. Ingrid was tucked into a little crevice between two rocks and a tree, with her two golden-coloured treasures.
Our small group stood about a meter and a half away from them for three hours, and mum did not really seem to mind at all (I know a few things about cats). The kittens, of course, are ridiculously adorable.
They also have an enclosure with larger lynx: among them the two kittens from last year. On this exclusive occasion, our little group was allowed into their enclosure, and we got to walk with them. They are so very much cats.. the hunt-play easily triggered, and then they are just like any other one-year-old housecat. Just with very, very big paws. And teeth. Most of all; they are stunningly beautiful.