Zoo seeks support to expand lynx exhibit

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UTICA — The Utica Zoo has welcomed Denali, a 2-year-old female Canada Lynx who has relocated to the Utica Zoo from Pennsylvania’s Erie Zoo. Denali joins Breton, who is approximately 7-years old and became part of the Utica Zoo’s animal kingdom after relocating from Watertown’s ‘NY Zoo’ in 2013.

With the addition, the Utica Zoo has launched an effort to raise funds to renovate the lynx exhibit on the North Trek Trail to accommodate a potential expansion to the Canada Lynx family in 2021. Breton and Denali have been recommended to breed and will require a separate area for Denali to care for her kit(s). Canada Lynx typically give birth in the spring to 1-4 kittens in their litter. In the wild, young kits can care for themselves around age 10 months and generally stay with their mothers for up to two years.

Through a grant made anonymously in memory of a remarkable man to address several projects, the Utica Zoo has a balance of $7,414 toward the project, but a greater amount would enable the zoo to provide a more detailed renovation. Through October 31, all funds donated up to $20,000 will be matched by Dr. Joan Sinnott. Contributions can be made through the mail, online at www.uticazoo.org or by calling 315-738-0472 Ext 44.

The Canada Lynx population is currently listed as stable in Alaska and Canada; however, the species is listed as threatened in 14 U.S. states, including New York. Canada Lynx were listed as threatened in the Endangered Species Act of 2000 due to inadequate regulations monitoring their habitat, the boreal forest regions of North America which is also inhabited by the lynx’ main prey, the snowshoe hare.

Last year, the Utica Zoo participated in a research project to further boost the conservation status of the Canada Lynx.

Prior to Denali joining Breton, the exhibit was home to two brothers. In March, 2020, Logan traveled to Ochsner Park Zoo in Baraboo Wisconsin to also join a female as a breeding pair.

The current exhibit is older and is in need of a renovation to meet our ever increasing high standards as well as to provide for probable Lynx kittens. For more information and to make a tax-deductible, matched contribution, visit www.uticazoo.org/donate

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