First glimpse of cute lynx kittens born at British zoo
This is the first glimpse of a lynx kitten born at a UK zoo this year.
Photographer Josh Biggs took this stunning image as the tiny kitten peered out from a bush at Bristol’s Wild Place Project.
It is one of a litter, believed to be the first in a UK Zoo this year, born to five-year-old mum, Loka, and dad Zone, who is four.
Since they were born five weeks ago, mum Loka has been keeping the kittens hidden just as she would in the wild in the Zoo’s Bear Wood exhibit.
But now the kittens are beginning to venture out more, so visitors have a good chance of seeing them.
Keepers think there are two kittens in the litter and the picture was taken following the re-opening of Wild Place after a 13-week closure due to coronavirus.
Will Walker, animal manager at the Wild Place Project, said Loka had made a den in a hollow under a log and was showing all the signs of being a very attentive mother.
“We are all delighted at this successful breeding – our first lynx kittens at Wild Place,” he said.
“To begin with the kittens are completely helpless, blind and unable to regulate their own body temperature, so Loka kept them well hidden.
“Their births are very important for the conservation breeding programme for this amazing species, which once roamed wild in the UK.”
It will be 10 months before the newly born kittens will be independent and up to three years before they are fully mature.
Loka arrived at Wild Place Project from Skanes Djurpark in Sweden and Zone was brought from the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, Scotland, almost a year ago.
It is around 1,000 years since lynx were last found in the wild in Britain but visitors to Bear Wood can see them in British woodland as they would have once lived. They typically live alongside European brown bears, wolverines and wolves.
In the wild today they are found in deciduous and mixed forests in Europe and Russia, Central Asia and as far as the Arctic tundra.