A “not very shy” lynx attracted some attention in Yellowknife Monday.
Kayle Wouters warned Facebook users about the animal around 9 a.m. when she saw it near the Shell gas station on Range Lake Road.
“No momma in sight, but it was not very shy,” she wrote. “Make sure your pets are safe!”
Daniel Bourke also described the cat as unbothered by humans. He saw the lynx crossing Franklin Avenue near Tommy Forrest Park around noon and snapped a photo of it padding up the driveway to the Avens: A Community for Seniors complex.
“We slammed on the brakes and it didn’t seem to care that vehicles were coming towards it,” he told Yellowknifer in a message Monday afternoon. “I was pretty amazed. I haven’t seen one up that close before.
“It was only a few feet from our vehicle.”
Avens CEO Daryl Dolynny said his staff contacted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), which is the prevailing advice when wildlife is spotted within city limits.
“No injury or harm came to the animal, or to people in the area,” he wrote in an email. “AVENS personnel are aware and we are taking all the proper precautions on campus for safety.”
Another Facebook user took a short video of the lynx on the Frame Lake trail.
Lynx prey on small game
No one called police to complain, according to RCMP spokesperson Kristine McAuley. Likewise for municipal enforcement, according to city spokesperson Alison Harrower.
Harrower advises Yellowknifers to report wildlife sightings to ENR as Avens staff did by calling 1-867-873-7181.
Department spokesperson Mike Westwick said lynx pose little risk to humans, but may pose some risk to pets. He confirmed ENR received a number of reports about the lynx Monday.
Lynx in Canada tend to depend on small game like rabbits as their main food source. They usually hunt at night.
“We would ask residents in the Yellowknife area to stay aware and be mindful of household pet safety,” he wrote in an email.
“If you do come across a lynx, the best thing to do is keep your distance – in rare cases, they may become more aggressive if they feel cornered or have been infected with rabies. Safety should always come first.”