lynx in Michigan

(Photo: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

VIDEO: Rare Lynx Caught In Michigan Returned To The Wild

April 15, 2019 - 2:57 pm

(WWJ) A Canada lynx found Michigan's Thumb region has been re-released into the wild.

The big cat – only rarely seen in Michigan – has been making headlines since it was caught on video about a month ago in Sanilac County, where the Michigan Department of Natural Resource said it was preying on a farmer's domestic geese.

Following "reports of odd behavior" by the animals, the DNR trapped the cat, which was taken to the Howell Nature Center's Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic and then the Detroit Zoo for evaluation. 

The female lynx, believed to be less than a year old, measured just over 4 feet long and weighed 18 pounds. She was treated for a foot wound, parasites and dehydration, the DNR said, but was found to otherwise be a "healthy, normal cat."

Michigan lynx
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“The lynx was well-cared for while at our facility,” said Randi Meyerson, deputy chief life sciences officer at the Detroit Zoological Society. "We were happy to play a role in restoring her to good health so she could be returned to the wild.”

On Friday, the lynx was brought north to the Upper Peninsula's Schoolcraft County, as the DNR says the Thumb is poor habitat for an animal who prefers a large territory of dense forests.

"The location where the lynx was released has good habitat and abundant food sources, such as snowshoe hare and beaver," the DNR said, in a release. "This location is also remote and has large contiguous blocks of public lands and little human development."

Michigan lynx
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Video and photos show, after the cage door was opened, she trotted off over the snow and into the woods.

Lynx are considered a threatened species and are protected.