Skiers and snowboarders at Durango, Colorado’s Purgatory Resort got a rare, unexpected treat last week when an elusive Canadian lynx emerged from the trees and casually strolled past the crowd.
Although the high elevation, deep snow and heavy tree cover make for the perfect habitat for the species, they tend to avoid human contact – especially dozens of humans in broad daylight!
One of the many stunned resort patrons to witness the big cat was Airron Hix, who posted the following video to Facebook with the caption, “That just happened!!! The majestic Lynx!!!” It has been viewed over 770,000 times.
Joe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks & Wildlife told the Durango Herald that the cat appears healthy and is not wearing a tracking collar, indicating it was born in the wild. He attributes the lynx’s bold behavior to the species’ high ranking on the food chain – the cats are not easily intimidated.
“Wild animals do what wild animals do,” he told the Durango Herald. “And we just do ask that people don’t try to feed them or try to approach them. View them from a distance.”
The sighting is encouraging for two important reasons:
- Lynx were once extinct in Colorado until a reintroduction program in 1999. The video is an indication that the project was successful.
- The people on the video took photos and videos, but remained calm and did not try to capture, approach, or otherwise harass the wildcat.