Lynx Trio Explores Highland Wildlife Park


At almost three months old, the Northern Lynx triplets, at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland, spent their first few weeks huddled together in the warmth of various dens with their mother, but they are now bravely venturing out to explore their whole enclosure. 



4_RZSSHWP_2015NorthernLynxCubs9_creditAlexRiddell.JPGPhoto Credits: Alex Riddell/RZSS

Born to mum, Dimma, and dad, Switch, on May 25, this is the fourth consecutive year the couple have had cubs. Una Richardson, Head Keeper for Carnivores at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, commented, “This is the fourth year in a row they have produced cubs - a real testament to the quality of the animal husbandry and the enclosure here. Dimma gave birth to her previous litters in the bushes at the front of the enclosure, which required us to rope-off the adjacent visitor path, but this year she has opted for the privacy and security of the nest boxes provided in the lynx house.”

Dimma, which means 'fog' in Swedish, was born on the 24 May 2010, at Boras Wild Animal Park, in Sweden, and she arrived at Highland Wildlife Park in February 2012. Switch was born May 2010, in Latvia, and came to the Park one month after Dimma

The cubs’ antics are generating quite a stir with keepers and visitors to the Park. Richardson remarked, “Watching the cubs play fighting with each other, running and tumbling about the enclosure, it’s easy to see why they are quickly becoming favorites with both staff and visitors, over the past few weeks. They have been putting on quite a show, especially at feeding time when they routinely play stalk and pounce on sections of meat as big as themselves.”

RZSS Highland Wildlife Park's Lynx are part of the European Zoo Association's coordinated breeding programme and, although the species is not endangered, it has become locally extinct in many areas across Europe, resulting in some sub-populations being considered “endangered” or even “critically endangered”. The Lynx occurred in the UK until possibly as late as the Middle Ages. Loss of habitat, reduced prey availability and illegal hunting are the biggest threats to wild Lynx populations. There have been a number of successful Lynx reintroduction projects within Europe, including in Switzerland and France.

Northern Lynx have a short, thick tail with a blunt black tip. They have distinctive dark tufts on their ears, which are thought to act a bit like antennae in helping to locate prey using their excellent hearing. The Lynx also has exceptional leaping ability, as it is an ambush predator

They also have a pale sandy-grey to rusty-red colored coat, with indistinct spots. In winter, the coat becomes much denser and the large, rounded feet help them travel over deep snow.

Northern lynx mate in late February to early March. They usually have 2 or 3 kittens, which stay with their mother until next breeding season.

More great pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Lynx Trio Explores Highland Wildlife Park " »

Lynx Kittens Play All Day

20150717_091006_02_Zoo_Vienna_DxOTwo Lynx kittens born June 5 at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo like to play all day!  The kittens scramble up tree trunks and explore their naturally wooded habitat.  But when they take too many chances, mom grabs them gently by the neck and carries them out of the way.20150716_085211_Zoo_Vienna_DxO

Foto_42_idPhoto Credits: Norbert Potensky, Franz Wunsch

The kittens are still nursing but have started tasting small pieces of meat.  Finding them in their wooded enclosure requires patience – their brown spotted coats provide excellent camouflage for the youngsters, who are about the size of housecats right now.

Lynx are well adapted to live in temperate forests.  Their huge paws act like snowshoes to prevent the cats from sinking into deep snow.  Tufts of hair at the tips of the ears may contribute to their excellent sense of hearing.

Although not listed as threatened, Lynx are under pressure from legalized hunting and loss of habitat in some areas.

See more photos of the kittens below.

Continue reading "Lynx Kittens Play All Day" »

It’s All About that Pumpkin

African Lion Cub_San Diego Zoo

Pumpkins are everywhere, this time of year! They make great pies, Jack-O-Lanterns, and pretty awesome enrichment toys for zoo animals. Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

Charlie_Nashville Zoo

Red Panda_Lincoln Children's Zoo


Photo Credits: Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Image 1: African Lion Cub); Amiee Stubbs Photography (Image 2: "Charlie" the Porcupine at Nashville Zoo); Lincoln Children's Zoo (Image 3: "Lincoln" the Red Panda); ZooAmerica (Image 4: "Rainier" the Mountain Lion); Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn (Image 5: Elephants); Sue Ogrocki (Images 6-Gorilla,7-Red River Hogs,10-Galapagos Tortoise at Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens); Minnesota Zoo (Image 8: Lynx); The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Image 9: Meerkats)

More great pumpkin pics below the fold!

Continue reading "It’s All About that Pumpkin" »

Jasper the Lynx out Perusing the Pumpkins

Jasper_lynx_PtDefiance_1Canada Lynx kitten, ‘Jasper’, was out enjoying the fall atmosphere, recently, at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. The six-month-old was helping the zoo promote their upcoming annual event, “Zoo Boo”, a special fall themed weekend that will be held October 18th and 19th.



Jasper_lynx_PtDefiance_4Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo

Jasper was a feature on ZooBorns in July of this year and it is exciting to see him working toward fulfilling his duties as an ambassador for his species, as part of the Species Survival Plan. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums developed the Species Survival Plan (SSP) in 1981, in an effort to help ensure the survival of selected species. SSP programs focus on animals that are in danger of extinction in the wild, when zoo conservationists believe captive breeding programs may be their only chance to survive. 

AZA accredited zoos that are involved in SSP programs engage in cooperative population management and conservation efforts that include research, public education, reintroduction, and field conservation projects. Animal Ambassadors, like Jasper, are an important part of the education provided by SSP programs. By being able to more intimately interact with the animal ambassadors, zoo visitors can gain an understanding about the impact each species can have on the world.

The Canada Lynx is native to North America, and it ranges across Canada, into Alaska and in some parts of the northern Continental United States. Although currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Canada Lynx as a “Threatened Species” in the lower 48 states.  The species is trapped for its fur and has declined in many areas due to habitat loss.

More great photos below the fold!

Continue reading "Jasper the Lynx out Perusing the Pumpkins" »

Jasper The Lynx Cub Struts His Stuff At Point Defiance Zoo


Meet Point Defiance Zoo's 9-week-old Canada Lynx kitten. Jasper is part of the Species Survival Plan® for Canada Lynx, which are listed as endangered in Washington state. He now weighs about 4 pounds and is being hand-reared by Point Defiance Zoo staff. Jasper will make periodic appearances around the zoo this summer as he grows into his role as an ambassador for his species.





Lynx Triplets Born at Dudley Zoo

DZG_Lynx_Cub_3There’s much excitement at the United Kingdom’s Dudley Zoo!  Three Carpathian Lynx cubs – the first ever born at the zoo – arrived on May 23.

DZG_Lynx_Cub_2Photo Credit:  Dudley Zoological Gardens

The triplets have been tucked in their den with mother Daisy since birth, but they started to explore the great outdoors this week.

Assistant Curator Richard Brown said of first-time mother Daisy, “We’re all absolutely delighted with the cubs’ progress.  We've got a few more weeks to wait until we find out what sex they are, when we'll also be giving them their first vaccinations."

Dad is three-year-old Dave, who remains in the enclosure with Daisy and their offspring. 

Carpathian Lynx are a subspecies of Eurasian Lynx found in the Carpathian mountains of Romania.  Scientists believe that about 2,500 Lynx live in these forests, the densest population in all of Europe. 

Lynx are secretive cats, and are most active early in the morning and late at night.  They feed on hares, birds, and other small prey. 

In some parts of Europe, these cats are locally extinct due to loss of habitat.

Curious Lynx Kittens Show Their Climbing Cred at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo


Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s three curious, climbing Lynx kittens have been spotted exploring their public exhibit. Born on May 8, 2013, the two males and one female have been in an off-exhibit outdoor habitat until they were big enough to maneuver the larger public exhibit space. The zoo invites guests to view the growing kittens and their parents – mother, Magina (mah-jee’-nah), and father, Kajika (kah-jee’-kah).

The three Lynx kittens are the first Canada Lynx born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Often mistaken for Bobcats, Lynx are classified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as federally threatened and a Colorado state special concern. The zoo’s Lynx were paired together following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. The birth of the three Lynx is truly exciting. Yet, the story of the parents living together is extremely rare and unique.





In the wild, Canada Lynx live as solitary cats. They don’t live in pairs, don’t hunt together, nor do they raise their young in family groups. In fact, other than breeding, males and females typically want nothing to do with each other and males want even less to do with their kittens. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo strives to mimic wild-living arrangements in a captive setting, but in the case of Cheyenne's Canada Lynx, they didn’t appear to want to live like their wild counterparts.

Continue reading "Curious Lynx Kittens Show Their Climbing Cred at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo" »

Lynx Kittens Explore New Territory at Montreal's Espace Pour La Vie Biodôme

1 lynx

On June 4, the Espace Pour La Vie (Space for Life) Biodôme in Montréal welcomed three Lynx kittens into the world. The kittens are developing normally with their mother’s attentive care. She diligently nurtures her little ones, nursing them, cleaning them and keeping them warm. Their first medical exam found that they are one male and two females, all growing healthy and fast. Ten weeks after the birth, the kittens and their mother transitioned to a new home: a Laurentian maple forest exhibit viewable by the public. Their arrival in the habitat signals a new phase in their development, during which they will hone their reflexes with their mother’s help. Visitors can see the Lynx kittens playing together, interacting with their mother and exploring their environment freely. The father will be kept separately in the nighttime quarters, as the female could perceive him as a threat to her offspring.

Both adult Lynx are seven years old, and this is the third time the pair have reproduced at the Biodôme—a clear sign that they are healthy and happy in their habitat. In the summer of 2012, the female gave to litter of three, but only one kitten survived to adulthood. Caretakers at the Biodôme decided to supplement that kitten’s diet with bottle-feeding while allowing it to continue nursing from its mother. In January of 2013, the healthy adult offspring moved to another institution to be paired with another lynx for breeding. This year’s litter is growing even more quickly under the care of the more-experienced mother; this time, caretakers did not need to intervene with extra feedings. As the captive Lynx population’s growth rate is very low, the birth of new kittens increases its genetic diversity. This year's litter may eventually be moved to other institutions to form new breeding pairs. 

2 lynx

3 lynx

4 lynx

6 lynx
Photo credits: Space for Life / Claude Lafond

See and read more after the fold!

Continue reading "Lynx Kittens Explore New Territory at Montreal's Espace Pour La Vie Biodôme" »

Lynx Kitten Triplets Make Their Public Debut at Whipsnade Zoo

Lyn 3

With their pointy ears peeking out from the long grass, this trio of Lynx kittens played hide and seek as they recently made their public debut at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The eight-week-old triplets named Ruby, Amber, and Opal, spent their first few weeks snuggled up inside with their mother, Maja, before taking their first tiny, tentative steps outside this week. And now they are big enough to venture out on their own! The playful kittens are getting bolder by the day and are often spotted perched on tree trunks from which to pounce, play fighting in the grass, and snoozing on logs.

Zookeeper Cliff Tack said: “All three kittens are doing fantastically well. Mum kept them well hidden in their den to begin with, but they’re now growing in confidence and becoming a lot more adventurous, especially with the warm weather encouraging them to come out to play.”

Lyn 2 on log

Lyn snooze

Lyn w mom
Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Known as a crepuscular species, European Lynx are most active at dawn and dusk, and the kittens are already showing signs of this behavior – with keepers spotting the cheeky trio at their most playful at the beginning and end of the day. The all-girl trio, who are parents Maja and Timo’s third litter, are a welcome addition to the European StudBook Breeding Program for Lynx. They are already showing off their distinctive pointed ears, and are just beginning to develop spotted markings on their coats which will continue to appear as they get older.

Read some Fun facts and see more pictures, after the jump:

Continue reading "Lynx Kitten Triplets Make Their Public Debut at Whipsnade Zoo" »

One of Two Shy Lynx Cubs Weighs In at Kristiansand Zoo

1 lynx

In late May, Kristiansand Zoo in Norway welcomed two Eurasian Lynx cubs. One of them, shown in the photographs on a July 4th checkup, is a little male weighing about three and a half pounds (1.54 kg). The other cub, whose sex isn't yet known, was hiding at the time and didn't want to come out for a checkup. These little additions bring the zoo's Lynx count up to six. 

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Eurasian Lynx is considered a species of Least Concern on the Red List of Threatened Species. However, though this cat ranges widely throughout the Eurasian continent, some populations of the Eurasian Lynx are endangered or critically endangered, often due to illegal hunting. It is classified as an endangered species in Norway, where Kristiansand Zoo is located. 

2 lynx

3 lynx

4 lynx
Photo Credits: Kristiansand Zoo


See more photos after the fold!

Continue reading "One of Two Shy Lynx Cubs Weighs In at Kristiansand Zoo" »