It is one of Canada’s most stealthy predators, so locating a single lynx is rare enough for travelers inland to the country.
But a driver in the western province of Manitoba recently managed to capture an entire family of wild cats on video as they crossed the road.
Shaun Kirchmann was traveling along Highway 6 from Grand Rapids to Winnipeg when a silhouette near the forest line caught his eye.
The employee of Manitoba Hydro approached the side of the road, hoping that the shape he had identified would approach the view. Moose and deer are common places along most of the country’s highway systems and occasionally wolves and coyotes can also be seen.
But Kirchmann was shocked when a lynx mother and her five kittens emerged from the trees, carefully crossing the snow towards the highway.
“It was one, two, three … I kept seeing the heads sticking out of the bushes and I was just stunned. I was like “Oh my god, that’s a lynx family.” But I had never heard of so many people being together, “Kirchmann told CBC News.
Wild cats, known for their distinctive black-tipped ears, spend most of their lives hidden in the dense forest and are rarely seen in groups, making Kirchmann’s sighting even more special.
Manitoba Hydro shared Kirchmann’s video on Facebook, accumulating over 5,600 views.
“Warning: crossing of cats. Our employee Shaun Kirchmann filmed this lynx litter on the highway to Grand Rapids after seeing a group of small heads sticking out of the trees, “said the company.
The Canadian lynx, which is larger than wild cats, has a wide range across the country. Their diet mainly consists of snowshoe hare, which has white fur in winter and brown during spring and summer.
Population numbers remain healthy for the lynx in Canada, but it is considered to be a threatened species in much of the United States, the result of overfishing and timber harvesting.