Cheyenne Mountain Zoo recently introduced their newest litter of Canada Lynx kittens! The litter of four was born May 6 to mom, Migina, and dad, Kajika.
Both mom and dad are ten-years-old. This is Migina’s third litter, and keepers say she is a protective and caring mom.
Zookeepers say the new litter is venturing out more and more. They can be seen in the Lynx’s Off-exhibit Area, which is viewable from the Grizzly Boardwalk.
Mom, Migina, always keeps a close eye on her four kits as they explore their area, but it will still be a while before they are all in the main Lynx Exhibit. Until they make their way to the main exhibit, fans of the kittens can check with the zoo’s social media channels for updates.
The Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. It ranges across Canada and into Alaska as well as some parts of the northern United States and extending down the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, where they were reintroduced in the 1990s.
Gestation lasts around 64 days. Young are usually born in May or early June. Before birth, the female prepares a maternal den, usually in very thick brush, and typically inside thickets of shrubs or trees or woody debris.
Litters contain one to four kittens, and tend to be much larger when the food supply is abundant.
Canada Lynx kittens weigh from 175 to 235 g (6.2 to 8.3 oz) at birth, and initially have greyish fur with black markings. They are blind and helpless for the first fourteen days, and weaned at twelve weeks. When their eyes open, they are a bright blue color, but as they mature, the eyes become a brown-hazel color.
Kittens leave the den after about five weeks, and begin hunting between seven and nine months of age. They leave the mother at around ten months, as the next breeding season begins, but do not reach the full adult size until around two years old.
The Canada Lynx is often trapped for its fur, and has also declined in many areas due to habitat loss. However, the IUCN currently classifies them as “Least Concern”.
On March 24, 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Canada Lynx as a “Threatened Species” in the southern-most 48 states.