things to do in watertown

The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is home to three lynx boys. Abe is our oldest male lynx (and currently the largest). In 2016, he fathered five kittens! They were born here at the NYS Zoo. 

Canadian Lynx are considered a threatened species and are protected under the Endangered Species Act. A species that is considered “threatened” is likely to become endangered if no action is taken to protect them.

Not surprisingly, Canada Lynx are found most commonly throughout Canada. They also have current known populations in Montana, Idaho, Washington, New England, Colorado, Utah,  and Wyoming.

Lynx prefer to make their homes in dense forests. 

The Lynx most famously feeds on snowshoe rabbits. In fact, their diet is so dependent on these rabbits that the two species have what is known as a cyclical population. You can see the numbers of lynx increase for a period of time while the snowshoe rabbit will decrease. As food becomes scarce, the Lynx population will naturally decline while the snowshoe rabbit population increases.

Have you ever noticed that lynx have abnormally large paws? Their huge feet act as snowshoes in deep snow – perfect for hunting their preferred meal – a snowshoe rabbit. 

The black hairs on top of their ears are another notable feature. Scientifically, there is no proven evolutionary reason for these tufts of hair.

watertown zoo

Abe’s male kittens reside here as well. They celebrated their first birthday at the zoo on May 6th, 2017. Cyber (Lynx) and Hyper (Lynx) are often seen climbing up into high spaces in their habitat.