Conservation Officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are offering safety tips after multiple lynx sightings have been reported in the area.
A lynx was recently photographed standing on a deck on Carlton Road, and a group of lynx have also been reported in the Sunset Point area, near Minaki.
Sgt. Gord Ewald of the Ear Falls OPP was out for a run when he came across a lynx enjoying an afternoon snack on March 24.
It’s not the first time that lynx have been seen in the area, but recorded sightings are rare.
Four lynx were captured on video near Manitoba’s Big Whiteshell Lake in February. Another group of four lynx were seen on Storm Bay Road near Kenora last March, and a video of two lynx fighting with each other near Dinorwic went viral in 2018.
The MNRF says lynx, bobcats and cougars are typically extremely shy and are rarely seen by humans. But if you do encounter one or a group of them, the MNRF says you should:
- Never approach the animal, especially if it’s near a kill or with young,
- Never offer it food,
- Do not run, a cat’s instinct is to chase,
- If you’re with others, stay together and act as a group,
- Face the animal and talk firmly while slowly backing away,
- Always leave the animal an escape route,
- Do not crouch down or try to hide, instead, try to appear larger,
- Do not take your eyes off the animal or turn your back,
- If the animal does not flee, be more assertive by shouting, waving your arms and throwing anything available.
The MNRF continues to encourage all residents to manage wildlife attractants like garbage and pet food and to always keep your dog on a leash to help reduce the potential for any human-wildlife conflicts.