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Rare lynx sighting in Banff National Park


Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer
February 20, 2013 — Incredibly rare images were captured by a Park's Canada official in late January.


This kitten didn't stray far from its mother (courtesy: Parks Canada/Alex Taylor)
This kitten didn't stray far from its mother (courtesy: Parks Canada/Alex Taylor)

Wildlife officials were able to catch an incredible series of photos while helping to keep a lynx and her kitten away from a highway in Banff National Park.

The rare images were shot by Parks Canada's human-wildlife conflict specialist Alex Taylor in late January.

The mother and her kitten were crossing through highway fencing, which was installed in 1996 to reduce wildlife collisions.

Thanks to several calls from a concerned public, officials were able to intervene and ensure safe passage of the cats.

“In addition to the remarkable photos, this is a good news story that highlights how the public can assist with wildlife conservation in our national parks,” says Omar McDadi, a communications officer with Parks Canada.

The Canadian lynx can be found across Canada and in parts of the U.S. (courtesy: Parks Canada/Alex Taylor)
The Canadian lynx can be found across Canada and in parts of the U.S. (courtesy: Parks Canada/Alex Taylor)

“A number of calls were made by the public to our Parks Canada dispatch line, prompting an immediate response from our conservation officer who was able to secure the area of the highway where the lynx were present and help to keep them off the road until they eventually disappeared into the forest.” 

The Canadian lynx can be found across Canada and in parts of the U.S.

In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the species to be "threatened" due to over-trapping for their fur and habitat loss.

It is no longer legal to trap a lynx in the lower 48 states of the U.S.

Animal sightings in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks can be reported to Parks Canada’s dispatch line at 1-888-WARDENS.

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