Two wild cats got a new life

Two lynx born and raised in a small room made of concrete at the University of Oslo was going to be killed when the department for animal testing was shut down. It was no cruel testing going on, but the animals welfare was not good enough.  They escaped death and was given a new home in a wilderness park further north in Norway. Where they now live happy days compared with their conditions before. That is in a huge enclosure consisting of more or less the same type of nature they would have in the wild.

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is a wild cat native to European and Siberian forests. It’s bigger than other lynxes, and is also known as the European lynx. It is the only wild cat in Scandinavia, and the wild population has grown in Norway during the last decade. According the Red list of threatened species the Lynx have been released in several areas of Europe in an effort to reintroduce this elusive predator including Switzerland, Slovenia, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and France.

I visited the two wild cats about a month ago, at the same time I visited the wolves and the wolverine I have written about on this blog recently. The people working there told me that this sping was the first time they had seen the wild cats climbing trees since they arrived a few year ago. In the beginning they were terrified of the nature because trees and open space was new to them. The mother and daughter are now living more like wild animals. They have little chance of hunting of course, but are served moose and reindeers killed by train or cars, or other kind of meats.

I wrote an article about them in the newspaper Nationen, who have a short version on the web. There are more photos in my web gallery and here is a link.

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161 thoughts on “Two wild cats got a new life

  1. I love to see animals return to the wild, and then overtime ‘open up’ into who they are suppose to be. You can almost see them shed the life of captivity and enbrace their new one… Gorgeous photos!

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  2. Hi,
    You can only imagine how these wonderful cats feel now they are more of less free, it must be a fantastic feeling for them, I am so glad there were saved. Beautiful photos, they look magnificent.

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    1. Not completely into the wild, but an big enclosure in the wild. It is impossible to release a predator that is born and raised captive, they can not cope on their own. Thanks for your comment, MColmo!

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  3. Wonderful photographs, Bente. I am so happy that these two wild cats have been given this chance at a better life, and escaped a tragic ending. Thank you for bringing their story to us! They are beautiful!

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      1. Well, I wish I could go there, it’s really quite something! If you keep sharing your beautiful and amazing photographs, I’ll be content 🙂

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  4. Thank goodness that are OK – & THANK YOU for the beautiful photos. They are such beautiful cats. I will stay away from the anger I feel that they were in such a horrible place to begin with and that people had just decided to end their lives. Wasteful and disgusting.

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  5. You have the most amazing ability to capture the essence of animals when you photograph them: through you, and your lens we get a glimpse into their souls. Thank you so much 🙂 EllaDee

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  6. Thanks for your articles. I like your presentation: a story, some general informations, a personal touch and wonderful illustration. Brilliant!
    Take care,
    Lou

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  7. Lovely pictures, lynx is one of my favourite cats. Nice to know they are adapting to their new and improved life, albeit slowly.

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  8. You have some precious wildlife in your part of the world. These cats are absolutely beautiful animals, it’s hard to believe they were kept in such dreadful conditions at a university, by intelligent people who should know better. I can’t imagine what kind of testing may have required a lynx. Great that they have a normal kind of life now though.

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    1. Thanks foryour comment, Finn. They had lynx for testing for 20 years, before it was stopped. No cruel experiments, but the living conditions was no good. As far as I know they sampled lynx urine, and they tested collars before using them on lynx in the wild. There are a lot of research on wild animals going on these days, I think in all countries more or less.

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  9. Oh my goodness your blog is amazing! I absolutely LOVE animals, wildlife, photography and basically everything you’re posting about. Thank you so much. 🙂 Your photography is outstanding. I tried photography once never quite took off with it. All the animals in the pictures look so happy and healthy, and if you didn’t mention it I would have thought you took these in the wild. It’s great that these beautiful Lynx were saved and are recovering so nicely. It always amazes me when people show animals cruelty, but I love hearing happy endings to these stories. I’m definitely going to check out your other posts, I can’t help it – I absolutely adore wildlife.

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  10. Thanks for telling us a story of preservation. Photography is indeed a powerful tool in making events closure to us. It personalises important events in our lives. When such stories are told, authorites will next time think more than twice before thinking of taking a cruel action on innocent animals.

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      1. We operate in two different countries, different continents, different environments, different subjects but we all aim to fight for a cause. You are doing it well too.

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  11. These were (are) my favorite wild cat from childhood! How lovely that they were spared. Thank you for sharing them with the world through your lovely photographs! ~ Lynda

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  12. I’m so glad they obtained a reprieve! They certainly have a smile on their faces now. These are wonderful images; my faves are the ones on this post and #51 and #16 in the gallery. Liked.

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  13. very cool subject matter….nice landscapes….you’re a lucky duck…..my blog is a travel inspired site for my writing drafts, travel writing, poetry and general missives. I am also a columnist for a small magazine and freelance….still trying to finish my sixth novel…….good to touch base with you.

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      1. Jag har väl åkt över en gång vartannat år om man slår ut det. Är oerhört glad och tacksam för den möjligheten! Lodjur/Gaupe har jag aldrig sett vilda. Endast i djurpark. Dina bilder är enastående!
        Allt gott till dej!

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  14. My English is very bad… but I exercise while reading your blog! Great photographs and interesting reading. Thank you

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    1. Hi, James, thanks for your comment. These pictures are not really from the wild, since the animals are in big enclosures, and not a zoo. It is kind of wilderness-park were the animals get a lot of space and nature, and visitors only for a few months in the summer.

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  15. I love reading about wild animals who are given a new life, one where they can adjust and be free again. Thanks for stopping by my blog and seeing what I’m doing these days. Glenn

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  16. Those Lynx are beautiful animals. I understand they have been reintroduced to the Jura area of Switzerland where i’m headed in the summer – would be pretty lucky to see one though…

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