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Canada lynx gives birth to litter at Thompson Park zoo

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The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park welcomed a litter of Canada lynx kittens, born late last week.

The unnamed kittens were born Thursday to mother Chayne, 5, and father Abraham, 2.

“We’re very excited,” said zoo Executive Director John T. Wright. “It speaks to the professionalism of the staff to have our first Canada lynx in several years be successful with a first-time mom.”

Mr. Wright said Chayne and the kittens were doing well and zoo staff members were limiting their contact to let them spend time with their mother.

“It’s kind of critical we let mom raise the offspring as much as possible,” he said.

A released statement from the zoo stated it had not been determined when the kittens will be moved to the exhibit space. The zoo’s animal care staff will make that decision based on the mother’s behavior.

Mr. Wright said the mother could move the kittens into the public space in about a month.

Abraham, born in May 2011 at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg, Manitoba, was made available to the zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Canada lynx breeding program.

Abraham and Chayne were introduced in May 2012.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the Canada lynx as an endangered species in several states, including New York. The service shows on its website the cat’s population is spread through areas with boreal forest conditions.

Officials said the kittens’ progress would be tracked on the zoo’s website, www.nyszoo.org, and its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NYSZoo.

More information about Canada lynx can be found at http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A073.

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