Ridiculously Photogenic Cat Struts Over a Highway

© HighwayWilding.org

Lynx are among the most camera-shy species to inhabit the northern forests of Canada, but judging from the rare photo above, it's clearly not for a lack of photogenicity.

Late last month, camera-traps installed along a wooded overpass spanning the Trans-Canada Highway near Banf captured this remarkably clear shot of the elusive cat, safe from the vehicle traffic speeding below its broad paws. While it's not uncommon for deer, elk, and bears to turn up on the motion-sensing cameras, this is one of the first time that a notoriously hard-to-spot species has made an appearance -- and local biologists are quite impressed with the cameo.

“You can’t help but be struck by how beautiful it is,” says Parks Canada road ecologist Trevor Kinley, to the Edmonton Journal. “I’ve only had a glimpse of one in the wild, so to capture such a clear image is a rare treat.”

While spotting the lynx is thrill enough, biologists are also heartened to learn that the occasionally controversial wildlife corridors are being used by even the most cautious creatures. Since such overpasses (and underpasses) were first installed more than 15 years ago, at a cost of around $100 million, some had questioned their effectiveness at aiding wildlife otherwise isolated by the highway cutting through their habitat -- but in that time, the eco-conscious infrastructure has come to be regarded as among the world's best.

Tags: Animals | Canada