New kits on the block! Lynx gives birth to record-breaking four cubs after being released into the wild
Delightful footage of a mother lynx playing with her litter of new born cubs is the latest success in the introduction of the endangered big cat into Poland.
The adorable video captured on a camera trap in woods in Western Pomerania shows mum Lynx Chyżą rolling around on the ground as her cubs joyfully clamber around on top of her.
The litter now brings the number of cubs born in North-west Poland to 14, a record year since the conservation programme began with the release of adult Lynx into the wild in 2016 by the Western Pomerania Nature Society since 2016 in cooperation with WWF, the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Cultural Centre in Mirosławiec.
Since 2019, the programme has managed to release 63 animals, the majority of which were previously born in captivity in zoological gardens or wild animal parks in Germany.
Though the current cubs are not the first to be born to Lynx mothers released back into the wild, previously, only single cubs were born and the first of the Lynx to be released had two cubs in the first year after release.
Magdalena Tracz from the Western Pomeranian Nature Society said: “We definitely have six female Lynx who became mothers, of which, in five cases, we were already able to count the number of young.
“The record holder, Lynx mother ‘Chyża’, has four cubs. That’s really a lot for a first litter. The following two females have three cubs each and the rest two each.”
Although Lynx are known to be elusive creatures which usually avoid human contact, Chyża’s record-breaking litter of four cubs was captured by a hidden camera.
Maciej Tracz from the Western Pomeranian Nature Society added: “Every Lynx born in the wild is an enormous joy and success for us. It means that our activities are bringing effects.
“Still, however, there are very few Lynx in the wild in Poland. They are practically on the brink of extinction, so there is a lot of work ahead of us.
“Unfortunately the mortality rate among adult Lynx is still high”
Before each animal’s release as part of the Lynx rewilding programme, adult Lynx are fitted with GPS tracking collars, without which it would be difficult to find and track the animals, who favour densely overgrown areas.
The collars are designed so as not to disturb the animals and allow for their tracking for one year.
It is thanks to the GPS collars that it was possible to locate the females and install hidden cameras to confirm the birth of the cubs and count them.
WWF estimates that there are currently around 150 lynx in the wild in Poland, with some adults wandering far beyond the borders of the Western Pomeranian Province, as far as Poland’s Roztocze region, Germany and the Polish-Czech borderlands.