You could call it Thompson’s thrice lucky lynx.
The lynx freed last week by conservation officials from a soft trap, while caught in a Thompson resident’s fence, had gotten that far in the first place after the trap’s anchor system failed.
Secondly, the lynx was then released into the bush outside the city after conservation officials got the trap off and determined its paw sustained no damage. Third, trapping season for lynx closed in the Thompson area on Feb. 28, which was the day this lynx was bounding back into the bush.
"The resource officer drove it about 10 miles out of town in an area where there’s lots of rabbits and hopefully it will go and get some," said an official from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship in an interview today. "The paw was not injured at all and I felt very comfortable releasing it."
Trap lines are required to be registered, licences are mandatory for all trappers and lines must be checked every 72 hours.
"This was a legal trap," the official said. "It was a padded, soft-catch trap, all it does is really hold the leg. There’s no steel on steel against the leg. For trappers, it’s a humane holding device."
Had the trap’s anchor held, the lynx would have been "disposed of" by the trapper who was trapping it for its fur. In this case, it pulled the trap up and escaped with the trap attached to its foot.
The quick actions of home owner Stephen and Shawna Kirby-McDougall to close it inside their yard and contact Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to free the animal gave this lynx a new lease on life.
"Lynx are very timid. You see them on occasion but you can’t approach them or they’ll run off. They’re very unique animals," the official said. "But the best thing to do is what these folks did, don’t approach it and call Conservation and Water Stewardship and the officers will respond accordingly."