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MNRF not taking steps to deal with lynx in Thunder Bay

Mar 09, 2018 04:33PM ● Published by Editor

Officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry say they have received a total of 19 calls of a lynx sighting in Thunder Bay, Ont. from Feb 26 to March 6, 2018. (Erika Bonofiglio / Facebook) 

By Christina Jung, CBC News Posted: March 9, 2018 

Officials at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry say they've received a total of 19 calls in the last week regarding lynx sightings in Thunder Bay, Ont. however, they are not taking any steps to deal with the wild cat.

"When the public contacts us we provide advice on how to make their property unwelcome and avoid conflicts," ministry spokesperson Michelle Nowak said, however the ministry will not tranquilize or trap the animal to relocate it to its natural habitat.

Residents are encouraged to contact local police if they feel threatened or in danger.

The MNRF says they also cannot determine if the number of calls this year is higher or lower than previous years.

"An increase in lynx sightings may be indicative of the current status of their main food source, which is snowshoe hare, but calls are not tracked from year to year," Nowak said.

A Canada lynx was spotted almost a month ago on Family Day near Marina Park by dozens of residents near the McVicar Creek area.

Hundreds of photos and videos have been uploaded on a popular forum on Facebook since the lynx was originally sighted in the Lakehead. 

One of the latest posts on social media was a video from a resident on Duke Street who spotted the wild cat digging through his neighbour's garbage.

Nowak recommended residents take the same steps as they do if it was bear season by removing food scraps and garbage cans and avoid throwing away meat, fish or sweet foods in the compost.

"If you encounter a lynx or a bobcat, our advice is to never approach the animal, never offer it food [and] don't run [as] its instinct is to chase," Nowak explained.

"There have been reports in the past of lynx preying on pets," Nowak said "but we not aware of instances of lynx attacking humans in Ontario and if it is a matter of safety, we do ask that people contact their local police."

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