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Possible lynx sightings in east end

Wednesday, February 05, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

Loyal readers have been contacting SooToday.com by phone and email Wednesday with reports of what they refer to as a Lynx in the city's East end.

One lynx was reportedly seen by a resident on Texas Avenue, who had concerns about letting his dogs out.

Later Wednesday an email tip was sent in about a lynx reportedly seen in the area of Chartwell Drive and Heath Street.

If you suspect wild cats may be in your area, the Ministry of Natural Resources recommends that you:

Limit food sources

• Put garbage in containers that have tight fitting lids. Put garbage out on the morning of pick-up, not the night before.  

• Store garbage indoors.

• If you do not have curbside pick-up, take your garbage to the dump often. 

• Frequently wash garbage cans, recycling containers and their lids with a strong-smelling disinfectant.

• Do not leave pet food outdoors.

• Do not put meat, fish or sweet food (including fruit) in your composter.

• Pick all ripe fruit from trees and bushes.

• Remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills, including the grease cup underneath, after each use. 

Make your property unwelcoming

• Modify the habitat around your home. Light all walkways after dark and avoid landscaping with plants that deer prefer to eat. Where a deer goes, a lynx or cougar may follow. 

Be aware

• An encounter with a cougar would be rare.

• If you believe a cougar is threatening your personal safety or that of others, call 911 or your local police.

• If you think you see a cougar in a tree, leave it alone. Call 911 or your local police.

• If you believe you have seen a cougar but it is not a threat to public safety, please report it to your local Ministry of Natural Resources office.

If you encounter a cougar or lynx

• Never approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill or with young, and never offer it food.

• Released or captive-reared cougars may be accustomed to humans and allow you to get close. Nevertheless, animals are unpredictable, and you should always exercise caution.

• If you see a cougar or lynx, stop, pick up small children and don’t run. Remember, its instinct is to chase.

• If you’re with others, stay together and act as a group. Children and pets should be kept very close.

• Face the animal. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave the animal an escape route.

• Do not crouch down or try to hide. Try to appear larger. 

• Do not take your eyes off the animal or turn your back.

• If the animal does not flee, be more assertive by shouting, waving your arms, and throwing anything available.

• If the animal attacks, fight back with everything you have. Lethal action is a last resort

• Landowners may humanely kill a cougar that is damaging or about to damage their property. Firearm regulations and bylaws must be followed. 

• Landowners must report a cougar killed in protection of property to their local Ministry of Natural Resources office.

For more information on cougars or lynx, contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources office or the Natural Resources Information Centre at 1-800-667-1940.

Comments
27
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
shhh 2/5/2014 7:42:10 PM Report

I seen a Cougar at the Canadian the other night. She was hot!
Tom_Bom 2/5/2014 7:45:49 PM Report

So Cute! But really, its not the Lynx's fault. We're the ones that decided to destroy their home and put houses and department stores in their place.
Phaedrus 2/5/2014 7:46:20 PM Report

A lynx poses some threat to household pets, but very little risk to humans, unless injured or cornered.

I do like all the added information about cougars in the story, although no reports about them had come in. It adds some drama to an otherwise tame situation.

Just to be clear, there is a thriving population of cougars actively hunting in the east end, but the strategy for avoiding unwanted encounters with them is entirely different from the tips provided by the Ministry.
CB4 2/5/2014 8:45:40 PM Report

slownewsday.com
Sam C 2/5/2014 10:06:36 PM Report

Tom Bom... I don't disagree, in general, with what you're saying. This location, however, has been developed for over about 30 years.

Likely this lynx is simply ranging to new territory, perhaps coming down from the Black Road area where the solar farms are changing the habitat for wildlife.

But it's not uncommon for wildlife to wander into developed areas -- I recall not too long ago there was a moose sited in the bush between Anna McCrea and the Dunn. Foxes are plentiful around the city, even in built-up areas.

There are coyotes in the bush areas in the north and west ends of the city, and I have even spotted a wolf (and found tracks in the yard) in the Old Garden River Road - Strathclair area.
old-cat33 2/5/2014 10:56:11 PM Report

The winter has been harsh to all wildlife this year and they are coming out of the bush for food.Yes they will kill a small to medium size dog or the household cat so keep an eye on Fido and Fluffy when they are outside.
straightshooter 2/6/2014 5:38:17 AM Report

ya, all the lynxs are now taking over the city, eating garbage, fruit leftovers, and pet food.

what a joke this news release is.

how about somebody putting out a media release that actually informs and educates the public instead of fueling more fear and paranoia?

fight back with all you have people!!

on another note, more of those playful, devil may care cougars in the city wouldnt be such a bad thing....but you really have to watch out for those! especially the ones with the sharp long red nails, and the perfectly white teeth! they are the really really bad ones.
howlintrout 2/6/2014 7:16:51 AM Report

First off there is a Big size difference between a lynx and a cougar.
Second of all according to the MNR there is no known cougars in Ontario, yes everyone and there uncle say they have seen them, but there is no pictures or proof.
Dictionary 2/6/2014 7:56:29 AM Report

I would hypothesize that it was a bobcat, and not a lynx.
right wing 2/6/2014 8:41:07 AM Report

A thriving population of cougars hunting in the east end.....O.K. got any proof of that cause I'd sure love to see it.
iamtc 2/6/2014 8:41:23 AM Report

What's the dollar at ?
CLT 2/6/2014 9:11:54 AM Report

iamtc

Wrong article. Go hit your pipe again.
Wisenheimer 2/6/2014 9:12:15 AM Report

RW .. I hear there was a whole table of them at Wacky Wings on Lake St.
Couple of Sasquatches at a booth in the corner.
Maria Catena 2/6/2014 9:19:48 AM Report

About five or six years ago I was returning from a trip to Southern Ontario and a cougar crossed the road just in front of my vehicle. We got a really good look at it and I can definately say it was a cougar. The MNR doesn't say that we don't have cougars in Ontario simply that there aren't that many. Although the population is increasing because of the increased amount of deer in the province. Last year I remember hearing on the news that a police officer shot, and killed, one after it attacked a family dog in the Muskoka area. I know what we saw and it was a cougar and looked to be about 200 pounds.
thegarbage 2/6/2014 9:24:37 AM Report

Howlintrout. Really? Wow
Wisenheimer 2/6/2014 9:25:24 AM Report

Sam .. betcha you saw a "Cowolf", hybrid of a western coyote and a Gray Wolf.
To see a actual Gray wolf in the city would imply the presence of a breeding hunting pack and a population of large prey.
Cowolves are solitary predators (like foxes. (not to be confused with younger cougars) and are more wolf like in appearance. They are also plentiful in the city.
learningaswego 2/6/2014 9:32:13 AM Report

There was an interesting documentary on TV recently on the evolution and growing population of the coy wolf in urban centres.
Wild Turkey 2/6/2014 9:44:17 AM Report

Maria---If I remember correctly, the Cougar that was shot had no claws.The Ministry believed it was someone's escaped "pet".
That they are here in Ontario is unmistakable--it's just a matter of time until someone gets a decent photo of one in the wild.
The Cougars at the Canadian, and Wackie Wings, were likely part of that Pride that frequents The East End ,in warmer months.
iamtc 2/6/2014 9:50:47 AM Report

Clt I have a pipe and u sniff glue lets get together
thesharr 2/6/2014 10:25:08 AM Report

Shh,are you sure it was a cougar because I seen it before and it was a Cheata
Too much! 2/6/2014 10:38:59 AM Report

The MNR doesn't want to admit that there are cougars in Ontario because then they would have to spend time and resources on tracking their population etc. I would rather come face to face with a lynx than a cougar any day. I'd also like to be able to ignore the fact that cougars live here. But they do live here. And, north of town, numbers of lynx sitings are up. More confirmed cougar sitings will come.
right wing 2/6/2014 10:46:01 AM Report

Too Much

Are you using consultants for the proposed sitings your are talking about.
When you decide lets us know cause I would like to have a sighting of a cougar....
Wisenheimer 2/6/2014 10:54:30 AM Report

Current official range of North American Cougar (aka Mountain Lion), juts into mid-Saskatchewan.
Last official presence in Manitoba was in 2004. 2 kills, both starving, 1 non-bred female, 1 small male.
Many sightings there as well but all anecdotal as in Ontario.
B Boy 2/6/2014 11:47:34 AM Report

Perhaps city council should hold a forum on this.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
bounder 2/6/2014 1:02:52 PM Report

Yesterday Russian president Vladimir Putin was shown petting a Snow leopard cub, Beverly Thomson of Canada AM said " look he's petting a cougar cub" dumb bunny, research before you open your mouth.
Too much! 2/6/2014 2:34:37 PM Report

RW

I live in and own 3 residences in the bush north of the Soo. I know many people around here. If my opinion is that there are cougars around here then it is exactly that; my opinion. This is an opinion forum and I don't need to hire consultants in order to feel justified to comment. Ease up buddy, life is too short.
dandrew61 2/7/2014 12:03:57 AM Report

The article is about Lynx in the west end but it was only a couple months ago a reader submitted photos of a Lynx or Bobcat taken at Fort Creek Dam. As someone already mentioned it could possibly be the heavy snowfall forcing them out in the open in search of food. The main diet of a Lynx or Bobcat is rabbit but a plump house cat will do just as well. And yes there are cougars in this area. I’ve seen two and there was no doubt what they were. Just because I didn’t have a camera at the time doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Comments
27
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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