POND COVE, N.L. – A creature rarely seen on the Great Northern Peninsula was captured on camera by a lucky observer who happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Vernon Buckle, a resident of Forteau in the Labrador Straits, spotted a Canada lynx at the intersection of Pond Cove road and Route 430 on Sunday morning, May 27.
He says the animal crossed the road, went down into the ditch and then up on a bank before heading back into the woods.
The large cat was calmly walking, not running.
This gave Buckle plenty of opportunity to get some great shots of the rarely seen animal.
Buckle, who is no stranger to wildlife photography as an avid bird watcher, estimates he had about 60 to 90 seconds to take three photos.
He says, “That’s an eternity in the birding world.”
He later shared the photos on Facebook, garnering plenty of attention with over 100 likes on the post.
It was an exciting experience for Buckle — in all his time tracking wildlife, this was the first Canada lynx he had ever seen.
According to the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, the Canada lynx are not uncommon in Newfoundland and Labrador, but it is nevertheless rare to see one in the wild.
“Canada Lynx are mostly forest-dwelling, relatively secretive animals that generally avoid people,” said the department in a statement in the Northern Pen. “Their presence is not often observed and any sighting may be considered unique for the individual lucky enough to catch a glimpse. These observations are rarely reported."
Facts about the Canada lynx (Per the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources)
Location: The Canada lynx is typically found in old growth boreal forests with dense undercover.
Diet: About 75 per cent of the lynx’s diet is snowshoe hare. One lynx can consume up to 200 hare in one year. When snowshoe hare numbers are low, it will supplement its diet with various rodents and birds, such as voles, squirrels, grouse and sparrows. Moose and caribou, typically calves, may account for some of its diet, but they rarely attack large prey.
Predators: Humans are the main predator of the lynx; others include wolves and coyotes.
Lifespan: Average lifespan varies between 10 to 20 years.
Appearance: On average, a lynx will weigh 17 pounds and typically range between 11 and 35 pounds. It is about two feet tall at the shoulder but length of the animal can vary from two to three feet.