Canada Lynx

Lynx canadensis

Canada Lynx have excellent eyesight: they can spot a mouse at 250 feet!

Characteristics: Lynx are covered with beautiful thick fur that keeps them warm during frigid winters. Their large paws are also furry and hit the ground with a spreading toe motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes. It stands about 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 20 pounds.

Lifespan: Up to 15 years in the wild and 26 years in captivity

Habitat: Coniferous forests near rocky areas, bogs and swamps.

Range: Northern forests across almost all of Canada and Alaska. There are also populations in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and a resident population exists in Yellowstone National Park. In the U.S. the Canada lynx is listed as a threatened species.

Diet: Canada lynx are skilled hunters that make use of great hearing and eyesight so strong that a lynx can spot a mouse 250 feet away. Lynx avoid humans and hunt at night, so they are rarely seen.

Behavior: Lynx are solitary animals that usually hunt and travel alone. They are slightly more active at night than by day. They hunt by walking, flushing and chasing their prey. Their sounds are similar to those made by a domestic cat: mews, yowls, spits, hisses, and even purrs. Lynx also use scent marks, facial expressions, and ear positions to communicate with other lynx.

Keeper Notes: Lyncoln was born in 2012 and hand-reared at a private facility until she came to the zoo at 6 months of age. Edmond was born at the NEW Zoo in Green Bay, WI in June 2015. Lyncoln was loves to have her keeper’s attention and will call and purr when they are in sight. Edmond, on-the-other-hand, was parent-raised and is a bit more skittish around keepers. The lynx is one of the few species at the zoo that truly enjoys the cold winter weather. After a new snowfall, they can be seen outside playing or lying in the snow. Summers at the zoo can be quite warm so keepers always give them the choice to spend time in their cooler, indoor dens.