The Canada lynx may look like a bigger version of the average house cat, but make no mistake, this kitty has claws. The last thing wildlife experts advise is to approach one of the predatory cats and treat it as a domesticated pet, so when a woman in northern Ontario taped herself calling a wild lynx a “kitty” and then posted the video online, she was widely criticized for her behavior.
“I felt like a kid in a candy shop, you know when you see a really cool animal at the zoo or something,” Beth-Ann Colebourne, who made the video, told The Canadian Press. “So I just walked up to him and talked to him.”
In the video, which you can see below, Colebourne approaches the lynx with calls of “what’s up buddy?” and “kitty, kitty, kitty.” At one point, the woman attempts to lure the cat to come in closer, but the lynx does not seem very interested and quickly moves on. Viewers, however, stuck around to ridicule Colebourne for what they said was a lack of good judgement.
“Beautiful animal, but she was lucky it was in a good mood,” wrote one commentor on YouTube.
“What an absolute idiot… surprised she wasn’t mauled,” stated another.
Colebourne, for her part, said that she did not feel threatened by the cat and made sure to give it enough room to escape if needed. A resident of northern Ontario for eight years, Colebourne said that she encounters wild animals like moose, bears, and foxes on a regular basis. The lynx, however, is a little bit more rare.
“There’s just a lynx hanging uptown, chilling out,” she posted on her Facebook page along with the video, claiming that she followed the cat for the unique photo opportunity it offered.
What do you think? Should Colebourne be more safety conscious, or are people simply overreacting?