When Lynx Argue About Sex, It's Hard to Ignore

These two lynxes howled, hissed and screamed in a battle of wills. Storyful Rights Management/YouTube

During the short spring window that is mating season, it's relatively common to spot a lynx or two in the Canadian wild — or making themselves at home in someone's yard.

But these big, slinky cats don't usually do public displays of affection, much less public displays of aggression.

So when two very angry, very big cats appeared at the side of a northern Ontario road recently, it stopped Ed Trist in his tracks. It wasn't so much the sight of them, as the sound.

”I knew right away it was going to be a rare, special capture,” Trist, who was on a fishing trip with his girlfriend and daughter, told The Canadian Press.

He managed to capture 10 minutes of the very vocal dispute on video — along with a soundtrack as unique as it is unnerving. In it, the animals screech and bellow and moan, only inches from each other's faces.

Occasionally, they even butt heads — oblivious to the gawking humans standing just feet away.

The reasons behind the heated argument aren't clear. In fact, the sex of the lynx hasn't even been established.

But since the video went viral — amassing more than 12 million views on Twitter — speculation has been hot and particularly heavy.

The most likely explanation? They were fighting about sex.

Unlike may big cats, Canadian lynx don't seem phased by the presence of humans. Pictureguy/Shutterstock

"Canada lynx, due to their harsh winters, are highly seasonal breeders, and this is right at the end of their usual breeding period," big cat expert Luke Hunter told LiveScience.

With the lynx mating season wrapping up — and a few of the whiffing on their chances to start a family — some may even be looking for a last hookup, he noted.

All that pent-up kitten-breeding energy may have culminated in this very encounter, as one lynx tries to persuade another to do the wild thing. High-pitched hysterics ensue.

"It's basically the same thing [as in house cats] — this sort of very screechy vocalization that shows stress and is designed to intimidate the other animal,” Hunter went on to explain.

But one of them was not having it. In fact, the whining and nagging seemed to go on for so long, even the humans eventually gave up on gawking — and went fishing.