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Wildcat wrangler

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A lynx in Oceanview/Kyra Petersen Workman via Facebook

All Kytra Petersen Workman saw through the window looking onto her deck Wednesday was furry legs, so she went to investigate.

What she found was a bit of a shock: The lynx that came for lunch.

Lunch, in the form of a 12-pound pug named Kiwi, was cowering over against the side of the house when Workman stepped onto the deck. The lynx had managed to get a paw on the dog and scratch Kiwi, but the pug had escaped.

The lynx, however, wasn’t giving up.

“I had to chase the lynx off because it didn’t want to leave,” the Oceanview mother said on Friday. “I chased it down the stairs.”

Unfortunately, the family’s other pug – Biggie – was in the yard below. Biggie, being a Biggie, decided he could take on any cat. The cat took Biggie to be another tasty opportunity, but then had second thoughts.

Fortunately, in Workman’s words, Biggie is “heftier.”

Workman remembers looking at Biggie in the yard and thinking “this is unreal.”

Welcome to the city that once pitched itself as the Big Wild Life. Workman was living the life this week.

Wildlife Wednesday, Workman said, started with moose in the yard chowing down on the Halloween pumpkins –  a rather common, post-Halloween occurrence in Alaska’s largest city. The lynx less so.

An animal that exists primarily on a diet of snowshoe hares, lynx numbers in the Anchorage area fall to very few and rise to almost common as snowshoe hare populations cycle up and down. The brown in summer, white in winter, long-logged bunnies are now near or at a high in Anchorage, and there are a lot of lynx around, though few so bold as the one Workman encountered.

After giving up on Biggie, the lynx went into a neighbor’s yard and grabbed a fowl.

“At first I thought he had a chicken,” Workman said, chicken’s being something of an urban farming rage in the far north these days. “But he came out with a duck.”

The lynx, she wrote on her Facebook page, “was trying to kill it and I had by that time grabbed a broom and started waving it around, it was enough distraction for it to escape….So then the duck ran under my truck while the lynx proceeded to stalk and try to kill it. I was able to capture and save the duck.”

“My neighbors thought I was acting like a mad woman,” she said Friday.

But she did manage to save the life of at least one duck. Another was not so lucky.

Workman later talked to a neighbor who came home to find a scatter of feathers and a dead duck.

“He killed one of them,” Workman said, and then caught some other domestic animal. She doesn’t know what. The lynx was carrying it off when last seen. Workman was hoping it wasn’t someone’s pet.

“I don’t want him (the lynx) getting hurt,” she said, “but I don’t want him killing people’s pets.”

She posted a warning to that effect on Facebook at Anchorage Pets Lost and Found along with a video of the lynx hanging out in Oceanview, a 70-eras neighborhood in South Anchorage that abuts the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge.

facebook post

The post promptly sparked a discussion about how providing the address of the lynx sighting might endanger the animal. Some feared it might be targeted and killed.

Anchorage residents love their wildlife when they aren’t living in fear of their wildlife.

There are no records of a wild lynx killing anyone in North America, but the animals are known to respond aggressively if they feel cornered. Wildlife biologists say people should give them safe space to escape any encounter.

Moose are far more dangerous and need to be treated with a great deal of respect no matter how friendly they might seem. Two people have been stomped to death in Anchorage in recent years and many have been injured, some seriously.

Moose are far more common than lynx, which range widely.

Workman said Friday that she’d heard no more reports of the lynx in the neighborhood since Wednesday, and she offered a telling remark on life in Anchorage’s largest city.

“There’s more wildlife action at our home than at the cabin,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25 replies »

  1. Art:”If a big fire got going on the Hillside I’m not even sure that the Seward Highway would form an effective break if there was a wind or if the fire were big enough to generate its own wind.”
    Not likely,I work on the southside,prevaling summer winds is out of the SW.
    Upper hillside different story, but thats why they call it Upper hillside.

    dave Mc

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  2. In case anyone is thinking a lynx may pose a threat to humans, it takes a pretty large Canada Lynx to weigh 30 lbs. They appear larger than they are due to those long legs. Like most cats, they are extremely quick and it would be virtually impossible to make one feel cornered IMO.
    I recall a story from a friend in Yukon, Canada talking about one fellow that had produced several live trapped lynx for release in lower 48 some years ago: He would throw a sleeping bag over lynx in foot-hold trap and wrestle it to where he could remove the trap and place the cat in a cage. That is something I would love to see done. I also have some friends who live-trapped European Lynx for research but those animals are larger and stockier than our lynx (they feed primarily on deer).

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  3. Lynx are carnivore predators. They eat other smaller animals, it is their diet. Pets and domesticated chickens, ducks provide ample opportunity. End of story.
    On another note: Oil dropped to a 6 month low today. Get real Alaskans!
    New Iranian sanctions have not stopped the glut of oil in the global market. China will buy every barrel of Iranian oil, at a discount, while the USA, is still bogged down in Afghanistan. We are spending billions of taxpayer dollars on Syria, Iraq and Israel, while our military personnel come home deeply traumatized. Why are we doing this? The recent CA shooter, did a tour. Something is wrong here. When we finally leave Afghanistan, nothing will have changed. What a waste!
    Iraq, will soon be in the total sphere of Iran and Russia. What a colossal foul up! We as Americans, should be ashamed. All we are doing in the Middle East, is creating more hatred, plus supporting authoritative governments. Wow! I thought we were supposed to be pushing democracy.
    Guess what? Human beings, do not like to be told what to do! The Tribal leaders in Afghanistan, rule their countryside, our democratic form of government, will never take hold. What a joke!
    What a gigantic waste of money, all on the lives of young US men and women. Such a tragedy!
    All we are doing, is providing good paychecks, to the military industrial complex, that thrives on, global conflict.
    US corporations, produce and export, more armaments, than any other country, in the world. We make lots of profit, off of people killing one another! What a legacy, we have left!

    Liked by 1 person

    • James,
      You wrote:
      “On another note: Oil dropped to a 6 month low today. Get real Alaskans!”
      I just noticed Gov Elect Dunleavy has just picked Parnell to led the “pipeline” boondoggle of money appropiation for his admin, so 4 more years of wasted state dollars on planning an antiquated system….I guess that is how the GOP and producers like Hillcorp keep the price of LNG from going too low…”stall baby stall”.
      Even though Hillcorp has stated there was less ice covered months in the Beaufort Sea last year than they projected…no shit!
      Why not just ship from there???
      Sadly, there are signs of climate change everywhere as I walk around AK in sneakers during November and my friend just narrowly escaped with his and his family’s life from the recent Paradise fire in California…he still does not know if their home survived.
      25,000 residents displaced in a day due to a fire started by electrical lines…these explosive wildfires out west are unprecedented (as is the current conditions in Arctic) yet, we will hear “drill baby drill” while renewable sources of energy go untapped all around us….but what does Craig choose to write about….”kitty on my porch”….here we go again Alaskans.

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      • The catastrophic fires in CA are not caused by the mythical climate change or by falling power lines; they’re caused by the falling IQs of Californians and people like you. I’ve watched the videos, and millions of idiots have their wooden home with flammable composition shingle roof completely surrounded by trees and brush. If the trees and brush burn, the house burns and my taxes and home insurance go up because if it as we just have to help the idiots in CA.

        Problem is; we have our own homegrown idiots here in ANC as well. One dry summer and one spark and the Hillside is going to look like those disaster scenes in CA. Because of both the high wind and fire danger on the Hillside, it is insane to have a tree close enough to your house to fall on it. If a big fire got going on the Hillside I’m not even sure that the Seward Highway would form an effective break if there was a wind or if the fire were big enough to generate its own wind.

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      • Art, you have put your finger on the fire issue: Namely wind. It has little to do with their IQs. And in particular Paradise has almost no trees/brush.
        When you have that situation with especially low humidity, these fires are just not possible to stop. Unlikely hillside in Anchorage would ever experience that humidity of 2%.

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      • Art,
        You are a “cookie cutter alaskan”….
        Just watched a video from Cal Fire and they said it is very unusual to not have a precipitation event this far into the fall…unprecedented!
        Yes, the winds are a huge factor, but no rain or snow and extremely dry conditions (warmer than normal) have caused 200,000 people to evacuate.
        The fire lines were reported down less than 15mins before fire was noticed and power companies were warned to cut high tension lines due to 50 mph winds.
        There is also a new Ventura county fire in Malibu burning another 70,000 acres.
        This year nearly 2 million acres will burn in California and this is unprecedented due to Climate Change.
        The only thing you got right is the insurance carriers are in some deep days ahead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “But while California’s climate has always been fire prone, the link between climate change and bigger fires is inextricable. “Behind the scenes of all of this, you’ve got temperatures that are about two to three degrees Fahrenheit warmer now than they would’ve been without global warming,” Dr. Williams said. That dries out vegetation even more, making it more likely to burn.”

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      • only the science says it’s not quiet that simple, Steve. global warming pushes the fire frequency up in some land vegetation types and down in others: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225397044_Climate_Change_and_Wildfire_in_California

        and, of course, ferreting out the human contribution to whatever damage results is never easy. as Art Chance notes, vegetation near homes and especially flammable roofing materials are a big issue.

        if i remember right, every house that burned in the Big Lake fire had a flat roof, and they might all have had tarred flat roofs, too. but i can’t remember. it is actually possible to build fireproof homes.

        the concepts have been around for a long time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fireproof_House_for_$5000

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steve, I suspect that Art took his entire rant from Don Trump’s posting on this after his “bone spurs” flared up, when the rains came in Paris, and he cancelled out of WWI ceremony.
        Further his rant says a lot more about his own IQ than any Californians.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Art for bringing common sense to the discusion. Wildfires and Southern CA go hand-in-hand. So stupid that every act of nature is now “Global Warming”. Laughable nonsense. Thank Vod for Trump..
        As for James, hint, muslims in the Middle East have hated us for 2,000 years. Shia even hate Sunni. We have dumped billions into those chitholes and guess what – they still hate us and that is NEVER GOING TO CHANGE!! So, removing Saddam, a dictator who killed hundreds of thousands of his own people was a bad thing? As for Afghanistan peace reigned in the land until that moron Obama took over. What a bafoon.

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      • Craig,
        I will not debate the human element to these disasters, but I will tell you most of the houses around me that burned in the Sockeye fire had metal roofs with “pitch”.
        That day in June 2015 was also unseasonably DRY and WARM….we had not seen any rain in June of that year….something that I had not seen up to that point in Willow.
        The larger take away tonight as nearly a quarter million residents are displaced in CA and as many as 8,000 houses are destroyed is that we as a society are losing compassion for others.
        You can see our “Desensitized Nation” after years of disasters and mass shootings…not to mention nearly 20 years of forgein wars.
        This is also apparent in Don Trump’s (and various “commentators”) responses to refugee caravans, devastating fires and other sad events occuring at this time.
        Victims of the California fires are in my thoughts and prayers tonight…these are challenging times for our country.

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      • I suspect there is a very small window where that can occur, Al.
        Sort of along the line of red squirrels killing newborn hares-actually this is the largest loss of hares for that particular part of their lifespan.

        Liked by 1 person

      • red squirrels are also responsible for high mortality on baby martin. The last documented lynx attack on a caribou was seen by a trapper in the Alaskan range. the caribou was a short yearling,not a baby calf days old.

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      • Red squirrels are extremely voracious when the spruce cones are down and they become big meat eaters. I hadn’t heard that about young marten.
        No doubt lynx do similar changes in diet when those hares crash in numbers, too. I do know that lynx range considerably under those conditions and they are preyed on by wolverines, wolves, etc. as they don’t have their usual haunts. As I understand it, they are especially vulnerable when sleeping as they wake up slowly.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bob: i have no clue as to what you’re talking about. i can find nothing anywhere in the logs here to indicate anything you’ve written has disappeared.

      i will admit i lack the time to respond to all comments, so you shouldn’t expect a response nor should anyone else. if i responded to all comments, i wouldn’t have time to do any reporting.

      you’re entitled to your view on everything else no matter how wrong it is. i don’t hate my former boss. i miss her. there were a lot of good times at Alaska Dispatch, not to mention an always well supplied kitchen and liquor cabinet.

      unfortunately, Alice Rogoff’s ambitions grew large, she engaged in some very questionable behavior, she took advantage of a lot of Alaskans, and she became a news story. i feel sorry for her given what she’s done to her personal reputation in Alaska, but if i ignored every legitimate news story containing people for whom i feel sorry there wouldn’t be much to write about.

      i feel sorry for commercial fishermen in Cook Inlet. for decades they owned the fishery. now they have to deal with anglers, personal-use dipnetters and subsistence folks wanting their “fair share.” however, the latter folks see their fair share, it’s coming out of what was long the pocket of commercial fishermen.

      commercial fishermen have the right to feel angry and threatened and embattled, and i feel sorry for them. that doesn’t mean i’m going to stop reporting on the issue. if you don’t like it, that’s ok.

      as you said, “move on mofo.” there’s plenty of other sites to read on the web.

      Liked by 1 person

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