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(Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
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Flushing, N.Y. – September 14, 2020 – There is new activity afoot in the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) habitat at the Queens Zoo as three cubs have made their public debut.
The cubs, one male and two females, were born in May while the zoo was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, they bonded with their mother and are now mature enough to begin exploring their exhibit.
“Lynx cubs are really fun to watch at this age. Their characteristically large paws look enormous in comparison to their size,” said Mike Allen, Queens Zoo Director. “Their playful stalking and pouncing is how they learn to hunt in the wild. Our guests will enjoy watching their development and the opportunity to observe these behaviors as the cubs mature.”
The trio was born as a result of a breeding recommendation from the Canada Lynx Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Canada lynx are medium-sized cats that have a thick grayish-brown coat and short tail. They are easily identified by the pointed tufts of fur on their ears and cheeks. Their oversized paws act as snowshoes to prevent them from sinking in deep snow during the harsh winters of their native range, which spans Alaska, Canada, and portions of the northern and western United States.
Canada lynx populations are healthy in some portions of their range, and the species is classified as Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In the United States, they are protected under the Endangered Species Act where their numbers have declined due to fur trapping and habitat destruction.
The Queens Zoo, along with the other four Wildlife Conservation Society parks in New York City (Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium), has reopened to the public and is welcoming visitors in accordance with the COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the State of New York. All guests over 3 years old are required to wear masks and all tickets are date-specific and must be purchased in advance online. For a full list of COVID-19 protocols, visit the zoo’s Know Before You Go page.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission is $9.95 for adults, $7.95 for seniors 65 and older, $6.95 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. The Queens Zoo is located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park in Queens. For further information, call 718-271-1500 or visit www.queenszoo.com.