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  • Writer's pictureSophie Baumgartner

A very special lynx observation

Since the end of 2020, we (Sophie and Manuel) have been lucky enough to have a lot of brilliant lynx sightings next to our home. We never thought we would be lucky enough to experience such an observation.... This is how it went (Manuels perspective):

It was the 17th of August at 10:12 am when a baby lynx appeared on one of our cameras and the picture was sent to us. We were suffering from pneumonia at the time. Knowing this part of the forest very well and just wanting to get out for once, I threw in some medication and headed out. My idea was to walk in the forest and sit down for a few minutes every now and then to get a good sense of the surroundings. So I searched different places in the forest for a while.

I now passed the same spot where the small lynx was photographed and 11:18, saw something small and brown scurrying away in a split second. I immediately ran in that direction, stopping again and again to listen to where the rustling went. I ran up to a small ledge and looked down into the forest with my binoculars and there it was - a baby lynx - about 30 metres away. Just about 3 months old and the first few days on the move with its mother to new territories.

I watched the little one frozen for at least 20 minutes before I moved. I noticed that he did not let me disturb him. He rolled back and forth, stood up in between, made a little hump like a typical cat and stretched his stubby tail in the air - this made me smile a lot. I don't think I've ever seen anything so cute, apart from baby European Wild Cats, in our forest. I realised that I didn't have a camera with me, as I wanted to go with as little weight as possible due to my health condition. So Sophie texted me she was coming too with our son Sam and was about to bring the camera. By the time Sophie showed up at 12:28, I could observe more behaviour - the baby lynx was already licking its fur all over like a big one and kept turning into a different position. I realised that such a wild animal probably never really sleeps soundly.

As our family watched the baby lynx together, it looked up at us but didn't let itself be disturbed - it had probably slowly got used to my presence. What a beautiful moment to be able to observe something so wonderful together!

Sophie went back with Sam, as at 2.5 years old he still doesn't have such a long patience for watching. Since I didn't feel any hunger thanks to my pneumonia, this was just fine to stay on, I just couldn't leave. At some point the moment came when the little lynx got up and wanted to go on. As I couldn't see him any more, I jumped down into the forest and went after him. Suddenly I realised that he had only gone a few metres further and was lying down again - only about 15 metres away from me. I now saw him so well and it seemed like a completely unreal moment. I quickly took 2-3 photos and looked at the little lynx, who was looking at me with wide eyes, stunned. I quickly decided to go back up, as I wanted to keep my distance - even though he had probably really got used to me. I found a slightly different spot, which was again more than 30 metres away from the lynx, and continued watching from there.

We have a neighbouring family that goes into the forest a lot, and a big goal of the children is to see a wild lynx one day. So we wanted to give them this opportunity and around 15:30 they came to my place. Just as they arrived at my place, the little lynx got up and walked around a root - and had disappeared from sight. I hesitated for a long time as I saw no other way to look at this part of the forest than to walk back down the forest - so we did, as I was keen to show the lynx to the children. We went down and there he was in a root, again very close to us. We looked briefly and then went to a new spot, again more than 30 metres away, from where we could observe in peace. The little lynx came out every now and then and went back into the root.

15:43 suddenly a picture of the mother lynx came in, she was not far from us. I looked in all directions in the forest but couldn't see her anywhere. She must be looking for her cub. Suddenly she appeared at the spot where the baby lynx had lain for so long and sniffed the ground - she was on his trail. Then she went towards the root where the little one was lying but did not go to the opening. Suddenly she saw us and sat down and watched us. It was a magical moment as we could now see 2 lynxes opposite of us. After a while she went away again and I was relatively sure she was hiding nearby. Sophie joined us and we let the children watch again for a while. Then, after 6 hours of lynx watching, I walked with the children towards home. When we left, the mother lynx came out and Sophie could watch her greeting the little one, licking it and walking away with it over a tree trunk.

This incredible experience showed me once again that we can have the greatest adventures at home if we work hard at it and keep at it. We don't have to fly far to be able to experience something like this and we really appreciate it! I explained to the children how lucky they are and how many hours of "work" it takes for something like this to happen.

Overjoyed with what we experienced and definitely the highlight of this year and all for ourselves, without having to post it immediately or tell the media - we were just very grateful!

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