The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a lost lynx died earlier this week after being hit by a car near Creston in Union County. DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins says the lynx was wearing a radio collar from a research project in Colorado and had been tracked in Iowa for approximately six weeks.
Baskins says the travels had apparently not been kind to the lynx. He says the six to seven year-old cat was "extremely emaciated" at the time of its death, weighing only 13 pounds, when a normal cat of its age would weigh 40 pounds. Baskins says there are a couple of theories about why the animal was in such poor health.
Baskins says a wildlife specialist familiar with the lynx says some are not very good hunters, and he says it’s also thought the warm humid weather took it’s toll on the animal. Baskins says while there are bobcats in Iowa, a lynx is unusual. He says the last reported sighting of a lynx in the state goes back to the 1960’s. Baskins says spotting a lynx is not an every day occurrence anywhere.
Baskins says the lynx is a reclusive animal that does most of its hunting at night, making it extremely rare to see one, even in areas where they normally live. This lynx like to wander as Baskins says it was tracked into Kansas earlier this year, then returned to Colorado before taking off again into Iowa.