Winter Stroll

About a week ago I posted a clip of this video on Instagram but thought it was just too beautiful not to share in its entirety. It was taken in 2013 in Northern Ontario by YouTube user ReelEdgeProductions on a Sunday afternoon as they were BBQ’ing on their back deck. What a privilege to see these amazing cats causally taking a winter stroll through your backyard.

The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a medium-sized cat characterized by its long ear tufts, flared facial ruff, and short, bobbed tail with a black tip, unusually large paws that act like snowshoes in very deep snow, thick fur and long legs, and its hind legs are longer than its front legs. Lynx are generally found in moist, boreal forests that have cold, snowy winters and a high density of their favorite prey: the snowshoe hare. The southern portion of their range historically extended into the US into the northern Rocky Mountains/Cascades, southern Rockies, Great Lakes states and the Northeast.

Lynx mate during the winter and the females give birth once a year. Lynx ARE NOT considered species at risk in Canada and sadly are killed for their fur pelts, which occurs in 10 of 12 range provinces and territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador). Lynx harvest is prohibited in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Lynx were extirpated from Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s.

In the US they are listed under Endangered Species Act and can no longer be legally trapped in the lower 48 states. However, they have not fully recovered from population declines, and remain at serious risk. Primary sources of mortality to Lynx are starvation, predation, and human-related causes, as well as habitat loss to Boreal forests (this includes logging, road-building and high traffic volume, housing developments, resource extraction such as oil drilling and mining, and winter recreation).

Climate Change is also a threat as the deep snow, that Lynx have an advantage over other predators in, becomes less predictable.

Joe The Cat

Meet Joe, a very handsome and special boy.

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Joe at Christmas time source the Sarnia Observer

Joe is by definition a true survivor, some might even call him a miracle cat. In February of 2014 he was found by the side of the road in Sarnia Ontario, where he had been left for dead, he had been shot in the head 17 times with a pellet gun. A good Samaritan saw Joe, picked him up and brought him to the The Sarnia and District Humane Society where he was later transferred to the Blue Cross Animal Hospital to receive treatment.

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Joe’s x-ray after the shooting shows the pellets lodged in his head – source CBC news

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Joe got lots of love while recovering – source CTV News

Joe, who underwent multiple surgeries, lost an eye but had a good overall recovery from his wounds thanks to the animal organizations involved. People in the community and from around the world came to his support raising $33,000 for the Sarnia and District Humane Society, more than enough to cover Joe’s medical care. The remaining donations will be used to pay medical bills for other rescue animals through the shelters Wanda’s Wish fund. Joe’s case has also helped bring much-needed attention to the common and horrible crime of animal abuse. His story has galvanized a community to speak out for stronger penalties and tougher animal cruelty laws in Canada, which most can agree are currently way to lenient.

Joe went to a foster family last spring to recover and has since been reported to be doing very well, he has even been entered in Modern Cat Magazines online contest.

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Vote for Joe the cat! – Modern Cat Star Cat Contest

As of today Joe has almost 60,000 votes and if he wins he will have an editorial feature in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of the magazine, which will be a great way to tell his story and bring awareness to animal cruelty. Joe is currently in first place and you can help keep him there by voting daily, simply click on the VOTE FOR ME button.

The contest closes January 30th so please head over and show Joe your support!

You can also visit Joe the cat on Facebook

 ***UPDATE JAN. 31 2015 – Joe the Cat came in second spot and Modern Cat Magazine will still be profiling him in their next issue!***