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Lynx kittens emerge from woodland den

A tiny face peeking out from behind a bush is the first image captured of a lynx kitten born at Wild Place Project five weeks ago. 

The photograph, taken by Josh Biggs on a visit to Bear Wood – an ancient woodland project within Wild Place – reveals one of a litter of kittens, which is a first for the Bristol-based wildlife park. 

Five-year-old mum, Loka, had been keeping the kittens hidden just as she would in the wild, but visitors now have a good chance of seeing the new arrivals as they venture out of their den.

Will Walker, Animal Manager, said “Loka had made a den in a hollow under a log and was showing all the signs of being a very attentive mother.

“We are all delighted at this successful breeding – our first lynx kittens at Wild Place. To begin with the kittens are completely helpless, blind and unable to regulate their own body temperature, so Loka kept them well hidden.

“Their births are very important for the conservation breeding programme for this amazing species, which once roamed wild in the UK.”

It has been 1,000 years since the lynx was last seen in Britain. Today, in the wild, they are found in deciduous and mixed forests in Europe and Russia, Central Asia and as far as the Arctic tundra.

Bear Wood – the largest project of its kind in the UK – is home to brown bears, wolves, lynx and wolverine, who all coexist in ancient woodland together, just as they would have done thousands of years ago.  

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