Purr-fect News: Zoo's female Canadian lynx gives birth to five kittens
(Pittsburgh) (May 2018)---The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is thrilled to announce the birth of five Canadian lynx kittens on Wednesday, May 9. This is the first litter of lynx kittens ever born at the Zoo.
Following breeding season, keepers set up a nesting den in hopes that the couple, Chayne (Chain-e) and Odr (Oath-er), had successfully bred.
Gestation is approximately 64 days and as that day approached keepers noticed a change in Chayne’s behavior.
Instead of using the specially-designed nesting den, Chayne chose to give birth nestled in her straw bed in full view of the keepers. Several days later, Chayne carefully carried each kitten into the nesting den where an infrared camera enables keepers to watch over the little family.
This is Chayne’s third litter. She had two previous litters at her former home at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park and successfully raised both. Odr is a first-time father but he does not play a role in the rearing of the kittens.
At two weeks old, the kittens’ eyes are beginning to open. As they continue to grow, their eyes will fully open and their ears will unfold. The kittens are very active and vocal, and they are beginning to explore their nesting area. Mom is very protective of her little brood and she only leaves the nest to eat.
Mom and kittens will remain in the nesting den for the next several weeks. The next milestone for the babies will be their first exam and at that time we hope to determine the gender of the kittens.
Canadian lynx, also known as North American lynx, are severely threatened within the United States due to a loss of habitat and poaching for their coats.
At this time the kittens are not on exhibit, as they continue to bond with their mother, but will make their debut in the coming weeks.