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9:58 PM Wed, Jan. 16th

Baby lynx drawing fans at the zoo

One of the new baby lynx at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary in Prescott.


One of the new baby lynx at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary in Prescott.

PRESCOTT - About seven weeks ago, five baby lynx were born at the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, three females and two males. They have remained in excellent health, said Alex Schopp, marketing and events coordinator at the sanctuary.

Their parents, Memphis and Foxy, both seven years old, have resided at the sanctuary since 2013, on loan from another animal organization. All five youngsters will remain at the sanctuary until they are weaned from their parents, after which they will be placed in other sanctuaries and zoological organizations.

“At present time, it is the objective of our organization to permanently retain two of these cubs, though which two specifically is currently unknown,” Schopp said “As lynx traditionally have challenges breeding successfully in captivity, we hope the community will recognize this rare opportunity and take this chance to see these babies up close. The lynx enclosure is located at the top of the park, across from the Kiwanis Korner and our Mexican Gray Wolves.”

The HPZS website states that Canadian lynx are solitary and territorial animals in the wild. The majority of their diet in the wild is made up of snowshoe hares. Since they are dependent upon hare populations, a decrease in food source will cause the lynx to move to a different area.

Their natural habitats are in the northern parts of North America, populating thick, coniferous forests. Their extremely large paws make them excellent at walking on snow and climbing up trees. They do well in almost any climate, but prefer cooler temperatures.

Historically, lynx have been hunted for their fur, but due to dwindling numbers, it is now illegal to trap or shoot Canadian Lynx in the United States.

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is located at 1403 Heritage Park Road, 982-778-4242. The Zoo is currently on summer hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.