Michigan DNR will determine if rare lynx will be released back into wild, likely in Upper Peninsula
For the first time, the Michigan DNR has captured a live lynx - and it's not far from a recent confirmed sighting.
The Howell Nature Center said Monday they are housing the lynx, which was trapped in Harbor Beach on Sunday.
"This is not far from where a lynx was recently confirmed on video in February. The Canada Lynx is classified as a threatened species in Michigan with only rare sightings occurring in the last 40 years, primarily in the Upper Peninsula.
According to a DNR representative, this is the first live lynx captured in the state.
At this time, we are allowing him (or her) to settle after a stressful few days. Though caught in a leg-hold trap, no limp has been observed as yet.
A full physical examination under anesthesia will be performed soon. It is not yet clear if the lynx is a released/escaped illegal pet or is in fact, truly wild. After physical and behavioral assessments are performed, a determination will be made if it can be released back to the wild.
According to the DNR, this would likely take place in the Upper Peninsula as Michigan’s Thumb area is poor habitat for an animal who prefers a large territory of dense conifer or boreal forests."
In Feburary, the DNR confirmed the first lynx sighting in the Lower Peninsula and the first in Michigan since 2003.
Monique Touchette-Soper of Lexington, Michigan captured the animal walking through woods near her home.
The lynx is a medium-sized cat 2.5 to 4 feet long with girzzled, silvery-gray fur, prominent, long black ear tufts (2 inches long), and a short stubby tail that is completely black at the tip.
Tracks are large, averaging 3.7 inches wide and 4.5 inches long for front paws and 3 x 3.1 inches for rear paws. Pads are usually round and unlobed; unlike canids (dogs), all felid (cat) tracks generally have no claw marks.
According to Michigan State University, lynx sightings have only been confirmed three times in Michigan since 2003. The lynx is classified as a federally threatened species.
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