The Canadian lynx is a rare and elusive animal. But one captured by a motion-sensing camera in Banff Park in Alberta, Canada has wildlife biologists all abuzz. It has the Blaze crew, who have seen way too many photographs such as this generate excitement only to be found as a hoax later, a touch skeptical. And can you blame us? Last year we reported how some award winning photographs of lynxes were found photoshopped.
According to the Regina Leader Post, wildlife experts were excited at not only spotting the animal but because it appears to be using a wildlife "overpass," one of six installed as part of a project to provide animals a safe crossing near the Trans-Canada Highway that cuts through the area. The Daily Mail reports officials saying in 15 years the lynx has only been seen using the overpass six times, leading them to believe they are wary of it.
The Leader Post reports the low number of sightings could be because the park is only expected to hold a couple dozen of the animal and also because some of the overpasses are relatively new and there could have been less of a chance for cameras to catch the animals using it.
Where we begin to get a bit suspicious of the photograph are from details mentioned by those involved in the project themselves. The Leader Post has more:
- “It was like he was posing for us,” says Tony Clevenger [with the Western Transportation Institute] of the March 28 photograph. “It’s like he’s floating on top of the snow — it’s really compelling.”
- “I’ve only had a glimpse of one in the wild, so to capture such a clear image is a rare treat," [Trevor Kinley, a biologist and road ecologist, said.]
- According to the Leader Post, the animal looks like it's "floating" because of its snowshoe-like paws -- even though it weighs about 30 pounds. Other sources confirm the paw structure is ideal for walking on snow.
There's also the fact that the lynx appears quite large compared to its background in the photo.
But a biologist and road ecologist for Parks Canada says it's the real thing.
“The remote cameras are left there for weeks at a time,” says Trevor Kinley “Most of the time, we see bears, deer, elk."
“I’ve only had a glimpse of one in the wild, so to capture such a clear image is a rare treat," he adds.
Well, okay then.
But if Bigfoot appears on the same camera, we'll let you know.