DURANGO, Colo. – A lynx spotted two weeks ago at Purgatory Ski Resort, north of Durango, was found dead in the same area on Saturday, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
CPW biologists said they had grown concerned after the lynx was spotted so many times in the same general area in such a short time period, leading them to believe “something was wrong with the cat.”
CPW says Purgatory ski patrollers found the cat dead near Chairlift 8 on Sunday. Parks and Wildlife workers were able to retrieve the cat’s carcass, and it is being sent to the CPW lab in Fort Collins for a necropsy.
Veterinarians will perform a full examination of the cat to determine what, if anything, was wrong with it. CPW did say that a cursory examination found the lynx to be thin or malnourished.
“The first time I saw it I wasn’t entirely surprised because we do get a lot of reports of lynx sightings,” said Scott Wait, the senior terrestrial biologist for CPW’s southwest region. “But after I saw three more videos of the same animal behaving the same way in the same area I figured that something was wrong with the cat. Wild animals die of various causes just like people do.”
Colorado reintroduced lynx to Colorado in 1999, and transplanted 218 from Canada and Alaska to the state through 2006. CPW says several generations of lynx have been born in Colorado since, and that the population is stable.
“We don’t want people to think that a lynx is sick every time they see one,” Wait said in a news release. “Lynx are doing well in Colorado, but face the same challenges all wildlife does.”