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Wild lynx "shocks" residents in downtown Thunder Bay on Family Day

Feb 20, 2018 07:22PM ● Published by Editor

A lynx turned many heads in downtown Thunder Bay on Family Day, Feb. 19, 2018.  (Brittney K. St. Amand)

Several residents in Thunder Bay, Ont. say a wild lynx was spotted on Monday evening around 5 p.m. near Marina Park.

Brittney St. Amand said she and her boyfriend were driving on the Marina Park Drive toward the closed down mill near the waterfront on Family Day when they spotted a big grey cat. 

She said when they reversed the car to take a closer look, the couple quickly realized it was a lynx.

"The lynx was just coming up straight from where everyone goes smelting and he walked right up, passed the vehicle and he probably came up to the top of the tires,"  St. Amand told CBC Thunder Bay on Tuesday morning.

"I just found that it was a weird place for a lynx to be."

Amand said the lynx came right up to the tire vehicle before crossing the train tracks near the Marina Park and continued towards McVicker Creek. Credit Brittney Amand Notes (Britteny K. St. Amand)

She said her vehicle was not the only one near the location either.

With another car honking behind her wondering why the couple had suddenly stopped as well as another oncoming car, St. Amand said the lynx didn't seemed to be spooked at all by all the vehicles near by.

"I think they had something at the Marina yesterday because a part of the Marina was blocked off and there was like four or five vehicles in the area that we've seen him, so it's a pretty populated area," St. Amand explained.

"It walked right passed the car and crossed the train tracks like it was not a problem at all to be in civilization."

'I was shocked, I thought it was a bobcat'

Randy Breiland said he also spotted the lynx on Monday evening and nearly ran the animal over when he saw it "diagonally crossing the intersection" of Water Street and River Street around 5:30 p.m.

"I thought a dog was coming across the intersection and I hammered on the breaks...but I noticed that [it had] pointed ears and [it] was grey and white and not a dog obviously," Breiland explained.

He said in his years living in Thunder Bay he has never seen a lynx in the city and was "shock[ed] to see it right downtown."

As a safety precaution to families, pets and parents with small children in the area, St. Amand posted photos of the lynx on a public forum on Facebook.

"After it walked away, we tracked the footprints and it had went all the way up McVicker Creek," St. Amand said.

By the morning of Tuesday, Feb 20 the post had over 1600 shares and hundreds of comments and photos from other residents who had also spotted the lynx in their neighbourhood.

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