A photo of a rare lynx in southwest Colorado captures an incredible sighting last weekend, taken by a retired National Park Service employee. The lynx picture has gone viral after it was posted on Steve Chaney’s Facebook page on Thursday.
Incredibly, the photo received over 3,000 shares, over 500 comments and nearly 6,000 likes at the time of publishing.
It’s been called a rare case because finding two of them in the Western slopes of Colorado doesn’t happen. The lynx may have completely disappeared from Colorado around 1973, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“Sightings prior to that time were few, scattered throughout mountainous areas of the state. In 1999 an ambitious program of lynx restoration began in the remote San Juan Mountains, and by 2005 more than 200 animals had been released, a number of litters of kittens had been born, and lynx were expanding throughout the high country and occasionally beyond,” the Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a statement.
“Between 2003 and 2010, at least 141 lynx kittens were born in Colorado and researchers observing their behavior noted that the cats’ reproductive rate had outpaced mortality since the reintroduction program was launched,” the statement read.
There are four living species of the Lynx genus: Eurasian lynx, Canada lynx, Iberian lynx, and the Bobcat, which is also known as a North American wildcat and is the smallest among the group.
In 2010, CPW announced that their 11-year Reintroduction Program of the lynx has been successful.