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Navratrysov.sk - Diary > Lynx Miki – návrat rysov do voľnej prírody, Rys ostrovid

Diary » Lynx Miki


Diet and problems with feeding.

 

The cub was born on the 24th of May 1999. Since 18.06.1999, when the cub was transferred from ZOO Bojnice to the Administration of the Malá Fatra Mts. National Park, the cub was fed with milk until the beginning of June, thus fewer than three weeks. We tried to feed it with different kinds of milk from herbivores (maybe we should have tried milk from carnivores and put the cub to a cat or a small dog female) but no offered milk tasted good to him, neither various concentrations with weak tea. Furthermore, according to the advertisement, we tried quality dry milk of foreign production explicitly designed for cats (Feline Milk Substitute Diet – Whiskas). The lynx did not drink anyone of our cat or human dry milk. During the interval of 2 hours we gave him by force a little bit of milk, daily approximately 1.5 – 2 dcl of milk. During the first week after  the removal from the mother, the young lynx  behaved so that during whole days and nights he was looking for his mother and still whimpered. The first scat occurred in forth days after the cub’s removal. The cub put on weight only slowly. On 30.06.1999 the cub developed a strong catarrh, he was apathetic and could not to stay on his limbs. Immediately, together with my wife, we went to the Veterinary ambulance in Martin where the lynx obtained intravenous infusion and other medication. Although the catarrh went away, the cub still moved around. If MVDr. J. Pánis from Dolný Kubín city did not administer a small dosage of diazepam at the evening, the cub could have died. To prevent possibility of regression of these problems, we could not give him milk again. My wife Erika cut small pieces of chicken and offered them to Miki. After a moment of hesitation, the cub ate the offered diet from her fingers. This moment was a turning point in feeding. The lynx only fed on chicken and roe meat, sometimes beef. Then, he started to put on weight. According to vet’s recommendations, we also added yolks and supportive vitamins to his diet. However, the lynx preferred chicken meat with bones, beef, pork, roe and deer meat the most. He never ate offered boar meat or fish.   

 

02.10.1999

Mr. Kunc and Mrs. Gregorová from ZOO Bojnice arrived. Together with the lynx, we went to take a trip, approximately 3 kilometers long, through old forests. The lynx was still walking along us. He attended to his the most popular activity – climbing on stems and fallen trees. During the trip Mr. Kunc was talking about his experiences with the lynx Sixi during his travels to Slovakia.

 

04.10.1999

First Miki´s milk tooth fell out.

 

17.11 1999 

I do not know for how many times my son Miloš was playing with his hamster close to Miki. Miki waited for a moment of inattention and caught the hamster. It did not want to let the hamster to Miloš, after all, it was its first prey. Mikino always plays only with haired or feathered prey, never with clean meat.

 

19.11 1999 

It is around 01:00 p.m. and I am on a walk. We are walking through our typical path in Horička. Miki tends to choose the way we will take. He does not react too much to my voice. Already on our way there I found roe tracks. Miki would like to follow the tracks but finally I called him back to me. Miki didn’t want to obey, so I chose a compromise so that finally we turned up aslope on an overgrow road. When we came back, Miki did not follow me but he struggled through honeysuckle bushes. Later, while playing, Miki attacked me twice. He passed below the road and struggled through bushes again to the place where he smelled roe tracks before. When he came to that place, he gazed to the bushes of hazels and honeysuckles. Although I called him, Miki did not react absolutely. I knew that he was not just playing but hunting. He tried to tread as silently as possible with his abdomen touching the ground. After a moment I lost him, as darkness started to fall. I followed his tracks in shallow snow but they disappeared. I was calling the lynx from 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. but he did not come. Although Erika brought me all things necessary for sleeping in the open, we were going home. At 7:00 p.m. I went again to the locality where Miki went away, I called him again but he did not answer to me. Fortunately, I had all necessary for sleeping outside, as it was cold. After half an hour of occasional calling something moved above me. I was really happy when I saw a satisfied Miki coming to me with his tail moving. At 7:30 p.m. I  took him on the lead and we came home. I took him to my hands for a moment, he started to purr and lick me but after the moment he grumbled so I put him back to the ground. At the age of six moths, a lynx already follows prey, sits about, scents, listens to cracking of branches, he also sniffs to them, eats dry grass. In Horička I put the peel of an orange on the ground and Miki rolled around it. He was interested in all new smells. He did the same with excrements of  heifers so I had to avoid this place for a long time.

When we met a lumberjack on horse, the lynx stopped and gazed to them. In a second he got scared and ran away with me following him. He has never seen so strange an animal before. It is December and Mikino still didn’t change his hair completely. He weighs 12 kilos on 7/12/1999.

 

06.12 1999 

Mikino squirted urine almost directly on our neighbor who often speaks to the Miki. Since the beginning of December I go to the Bystrička valley so that sometimes I leave Mikino to sleep in the cottage upstairs in the room and he can come down to the kitchen and catch mice and dormice. Usually during all day he runs around the cottage, sometimes he goes for longer trips and nobody knows about him for 3 or 5 hours. I retraced him on the snow. He pursues roes or deer females for 1.5 km. I call him from the opposite slope. Today at 10:00 a.m. we went together with Miki from the cottage up to the stream, close to the border of the National Nature Reserve. Approximately 150 meters below the path Miki saw roes in underwood. He went near slowly, with pauses. I go down to the valley and further to the cottage. I looked for him and called twice but he followed roes down the valley on contour line, then they turned up. I came back to the cottage. Mikino came back at 4:40 p.m. We go home. At the beginning of the valley close to the cottage of the State Forests two females of red deer were ate a hay. I have seen them and Miki saw them a moment later. He can smell wild animals for 100 meters. At the beginning of February 2000 in Dierová, a young lynx (it could have 17-18 kg, width of front foot was 6 cm) caught one roe. The prey was eaten in three days, foxes helped with it, too. In the middle of February, the lynx caught a second roe in the valley, a little bit up to the field cottage, approximately 1 km further. They caught a third roe approximately in the third week of February. Furthermore, at the end of February they caught a deer fawn and Miki, too, visited that place regularly. Another roe was caught at the beginning of the stone quarry. I disturbed that lynx and I saw it. It was as large as Mikino. The roe was killed not earlier than half an hour before.

 

From 22. to 23.03.2000 Miki slept outside.

 

In the morning of 23.03.2000 I found the lynx close to a caught deer fawn. Following the transmitter signals, I approached him to approximately 30 m. The lynx ran up aslope, as I didn’t talk (I do not know why he ran away before me, it happened 2-3 times and if he did not have a transmitter and the snow disappeared I have had never known about him). He came to me only after my calling. He was coming for a long time and very warily. On the inner side of his thigh he had an approximately 3 cm long laceration after the fight with a wild lynx during the night. On 19.03.2000 Miki obtained the transmitter for the first time. It is necessary to mention that already before he was catching laboratory rats close to the cottage and he killed a hen.

 

From 12.03. until 14.03. Miki did not come to the cottage.

 

From 14.03., when we were successful calling him, until 18.03. he is in our home. He is still cleanly, goes to urine and defecate to the bowl with toilet paper. 

 

On 18.03. we drive him to the Bystrička valley again.

 

From 28.03 until 01.04. Miki is again in our home in Dolný Kubín city. The wound is healed. All three collars from ZOO have weak batteries. Mrs. J. Budajová from Prešov city sent me a bigger collar used in wolves. After modifications, the collar weights 390 grams. In the valley it  works to 500 meters. I took two rabbits to the woodhouse.

 

During the night of 01.04 a wild lynx with the same width of foot as Miki was close to a killed deer young.

 

On 03.04. first time I find Mikino thanks to the transmitter. He was close to the caught deer young. I called him to the cottage. Although he was not hungry I gave him a rabbit and he took it to feed above the cottage. I leave him to sleep outside.

 

On 10.04. I find Miki again close to the killed deer young at the border of the National Nature Reserve above the cottage. He ran away before me again but it looked to me as he was just playing hide and seek for approximately 3 hours. Seeing that he would not come to me I stayed in the field till sunset. The transmitter still signalized that Miki was approximately 50 m in front of me. He came to me only after sunset so we go down to the cottage. On the small ridge opposite the cottage a wild lynx called several times before sunset. In that place lynxes caught another roe or deer young in March. I found it according to the activity of  ravens and observation of our lynx. I leave Mikino in the cottage during the night.

 

On the evening of 11.04. I come for Mikino to the Bystrička valley and I take him home to Dolný Kubín city.

 

On 16.04. I  take the lynx back and together we go to the slopes of Kykula. We leave him in the forest. Miki started to change hair very intensively. We saw a bear female with two cubs on a distance of approximately 40 meters. When the bear saw lynx with me, the bear was not afraid and went away slowly.

 

On 19.04. I am not able to find Miki in the valley without a big antenna on the receiver.

 

On 20.04. I found him up aslope close to the caught calf. He came to me. Although he did not look hungry he attacked a free ranging domestic rabbit close to the cottage. Then I fed him.

 

On 23.04. I locate Mikino 500 m from the cottage up the valley, rightwards – approximately 250 m up to slope. He came to me and we went to the cottage.

 

On 24. and 25.04. I locate Mikino above the woodhouse via receiver. I find that he was interested in the rabbit which escaped from the woodhouse. When Mikino chased it, it ran back under the woodhouse.

 

On 27.04. I locate him up the valley on the left side, 1 km from the cottage, approximately 400 m from the road up in slope. He directed up to the valley to the hunter’s cottage.

 

On 28.04. I received a weak signal from the upper part of the National Nature Reserve Šrámková in the southern slope. I did not go there because Jano Korňan should have arrived.

 

The evening of 29.04. together with Dáška we go to the Bystrička valley. Just close to the cottage we received good signal. Mikino was sitting opposite to the cottage approximately 20 m in the slope, opposite to the small bridge. He was not hungry. We found seven ticks on his skin so we smeared them with oil and three of them fell off in a moment. Miki was very playful.

 

On 30.04. my wife Erika came to Miki for about two hours. She released him from the cottage where he was catching rodents in the attic.

 

On 01.05. I released him again and leave him in the field.

 

On 03.05. we locate Mikino close to the cottage and we feed him. He has ticks again.

 

On 04.05. I can not locate him around the cottage.

 

On 05.05. together with Erika we go to the cottage and we received the signal from the opposite slope. Miki came down to us. After feeding we go with him to the stone opposite the cottage. Mikino goes with us looking really happy. When we were there Miki went up not farther than 20 m and called into the forest, it looked like calling to another lynx. Later, two roes pass 30 m above us. Miki followed them and after 20 minutes he came back under the stones from where he was calling. I administered a preparation against ticks and fleas – Frontline on his skin. Then Miki went to the opened car. Ten scout boys with two adults from Žilina city arrived to the cottage. Also Martin Korňan arrived. In general, such visits of foreign people affected Mikino in negative way. For him, the cottage was his shelter and if unknown people came there he was confused.

 

On 07.05. Miki was away since the morning. Before the sunset he came back and I feed him.

 

On 08.05. I can not receive signal around the cottage.

 

On 10.05. we received signal from above the cottage in the slope. Miki was somewhere on the ridge of the reserve. We did not wait till he came and I leave the meat in his place in the forest.

 

On 11.05. my whole family arrives. Miki came down to us from the slope opposite the cottage. We went up to the stone where children were reading school books and Miki laid down and cleaned his hair. Occasionally he attacked my children learning. I filmed it. Although the ticks died, they held dry.

 

On 17.05. at 07:00 a.m. I did not receive Miki close to the cottage. I leave the meat in the usual place.

 

On 18.05. at 9:30 p.m. I did not locate Miki again. The meat from the previous day disappeared. I leave him another kilogram of meat.

 

At the morning on 21.05. around 08:00 a.m. I take more meat to Miki, but I was not successful in locating him.

 

On 22.05. approximately at 02:00 p.m. I arrive to the cottage. Before I used the receiver I called Miki. He started to call back above the feeding place and for a moment he was with me. He moved around me and jumped to me very happy that he saw me. When I went to take something to the car he went with me. I took him home for a few days. Today, the lynx had a really strange behavior. He was not afraid of the car, he looked as if he was in the car every day. His behavior at home is normal. He is gentle and does not bite wood so much. In fact he bit the wooden facing only once when we left him alone for one hour. He urines to the bowl as before. Until 24.05. the health state of Miki weakens, he was sleepy and had problems moving. Despite of  it, he still ate his normal diet dosages after which he slept a long time, usually in the kitchen under the table. On Wednesday at the evening he had a problem to jump on to the shoe cupboard. On Thursday 25.05. he looked better. We took him to the veterinary doctor Pánis. He found scabies in his ears so I administered 5% arpalit and a salve made by pharmacist. The doctor wanted to make a blood exam but the lynx kicked against him and the doctor could not touch him. According to me as well as the veterinary doctor, a viper could have bitten the lynx.  

 

On the evening of 27.05. I can see that the lynx started to be bored and he asked to go out. When we came back from the doctor, he sit in the lift and would not go out to the flat.

 

On 28.05. Erika with children drove him to the Bystrička valley.

 

On 09.06. Mrs. Gregorová arrived to control Miki and she was enthusiastic. She brought two rabbits and a chicken. Miki took the chicken to the forest immediately where he killed it.

 

During the leaving at the evening on 11.06. we release one rabbit. The lynx took it with him to the forest again.

 

In the afternoon on 13.06. we release another rabbit from the woodhouse. The woodhouse has a hole through which the rabbits can go out to graze. They could also return back through this hole. By this way I kept rabbits in the woodhouse for several weeks. The lynx was still waiting for them and so he learned to catch the prey. If he was not interested in rabbits or laboratory rats he went to the forests and came back several days later.

 

On 15.06. we go to the Veľká Fatra Mts together with Meďo Macek. We stopped in Bystrička valley and Miki came from his typical place. I give him one chicken and one kilogram of beef.

 

On 18.06. Mišo Kalaš, who sometimes changes us in controls of the cottage surroundings, follows Miki. Miki did not come to Mišo. He only trusts the members of our family.

 

On 20.06. I brought meat to Miki but he was not close to the cottage. I was there just for a short time.

 

On 25.06. I bring meat to Miki again, to the usual place.

 

On 01.07 I bring meat to Miki, he was not close to the cottage again but the meat disappeared.

 

On 04.07. Miki is close to the cottage so we administer the salve to his ears and spray against ticks.

 

On 08.07. we bring meat. Miki is not close to the cottage.

 

On 11.07. I leave the meat before the cottage.

 

On 14.07. the lynx is not far from the cottage and I give him chickens. Once at the beginning of July Miki met a wild lynx. We treat four injuries after claws on his left rear thigh as well as one laceration approximately 5 cm long.

 

On 16.07. I film Miki. He obtains two chickens. During these days, he usually occurs around the cottage as he waits till his injuries recover.

 

On 21. and 23.07. I bring meat to Miki.

 

In the morning on 25.07. we arrive to the valley. Miki is close to the cottage and after feeding he goes with us on the asphalt road up to the end of the valley. He also goes with us down to the cottage. Together it is approximately 6-7 km. When we met hikers Miki disappeared in time and came back only when the tourists were out of view.

 

On 28.07. I call Miki from the slope opposite the cottage from a distance of about 300 meters.

 

On 30.07.2000 it is raining permanently. I call the lynx going one kilometer around the cottage but I did not see him.

 

On 01.08.2000 I go up through the road for 300 meters. After 20 minutes and occasional calling the lynx comes down to me from the slope.

 

In the afternoon on 03.08.2001 I go up to the Mt. Stoh together with my wife to the timber-line above the hunter cottage. We want to stay there till sunset to observe bears. Approximately 20 minutes before sunset, a lynx started to call close to the forest border about 25 meters from us. The lynx called 10 times. Because the forest border was dense, we did not see the lynx. But the lynx knew about us for sure because we came from that way. According to me it must be Miki. It is not possible that a wild lynx follows people and calls.

 

On 04.08.2000 I call Miki from the same place as before. He came down hungry. He ate one chicken. We leave the second chicken and  we go home.

 

On 07.08.2000 the lynx still moves around in the mentioned slope. He answers to our calling from the distance for 250 meters. He came down with us to the cottage very warily. He is friendly to us. During playing he pays attention not to injure us, because he is really big. The light spots on the upper part of his ears reduced by more than one third in surface. While me and Erika were sitting in front of the cottage Miki attacked us from behind. He bit us in the neck and hands but carefully. He repeated these attacks.

 

On 09.08.2000 I arrive at 07:30 p.m. with my family to stay over night in the cottage. Miki does not occur within one kilometer around the cottage. We call him to the dark but he did not come.

 

At 08:00 a.m. on 10.08.2000 Miki came down from above the cottage after a long calling. Although he came down reluctantly he finally came to children. The lynx ate chicken of  stock dove size, he did not want another one. He was very reserved. Initially, he lay  a few meters away so we knew that he is not hungry. Actually, after 20 minutes he would like to go back to the forest. Children call him back and finally he obeyed, although, reluctantly. After it he became bolder and started to play with the children. Around 11:00 a.m. the children went to the forest followed by Miki. Children told us that Miki was with them for one hour. Then he turned up aslope towards the National Nature Reserve Šrámková.

 

From 12.08 to 16.08. Miki does not react to our calling or he is somewhere far.

 

On 13.08. Mrs. Eva Gregorová arrived. We walked about 2 km around the cottage but the lynx was not there. Eva did not believe that the lynx would still keep up contact with us.

 

On 17.08.2000 I came to the cottage at 08:00 a.m. I called Miki but he did not come. In the afternoon at 04:30 I arrive again to the Bystrička valley with my family. After our calling Miki came down from the slope above the woodhouse. He welcomed us as if we saw each other every day but he does not want to play with us. I mount a German collar with a blue-colored transmitter. The perimeter of the collar is 35.5 cm and I leave it freer. The lynx had ticks on his neck and now he often rubs with the collar against stems and stones. Miki is not answering to my calls as strong as he used to.

 

On 19.08 the transmitter answers from one place. I was looking for the lynx but I found only the collar which he got rid of after rubbing.

 

On 20.08.2000 I mount the collar again but not so free as the first time.

 

On 23. and 26.08.2000 the signal comes from the lynx female’s den. Miki often occurs there after the female removed her cubs further. Probably, the season of the ticks finishes in the valley because Miki only has one. 

 

On 27.08.2000 I bring a live rabbit to Miki. He is not hungry, when he caught up the rabbit he caught it with his claws and he would like to play with it as with a mouse. Finally he ate it all.

 

On 29.08.2000 it is still raining and because we did not take keys from the road barrier, we have to go up on foot. After arriving to the cottage Mikino answered immediately. We fed him with beef and pork. He entered to the cottage what he did not like to do before.

 

On 30.08.2000 I arrive to the cottage around 05:00 p.m. Miki came down from the slope opposite the doors to the cottage. He ate 2 kg of meat. Because the weather got cool and it started raining Miki has a bigger appetite. As he resounded well I took away the collar with transmitter. He started to change fur. During the night it is approximately 7°C. After hearty feeding we went with him to the forest above the cottage. Mikino left a scat at the edge of one rock wall. There were remains of mice’s and roe’s hair. We walked with him for a long time until the night came and we took some pictures also with flash. When we came back Miki stayed in the forest above the cottage. I would like to mount the transmitter at the morning but we had to depart that evening.

 

On 31.08.2000 our staff member Gabika Zvarová arrived to the cottage also with her dog – German shepherd dog. She said that she saw Mikino coming down to the cottage around 04:00 – 05:00 p.m. The dog signalized the presence of the lynx. When Miki did not see me close to the cottage he turned and went aslope slowly. The administration of the Malá Fatra Mts. National Park offered accommodation in the field cottage to brigade-workers during two weeks in July and two weeks in August. I told the director that it is not a good idea because of the lynx and he will not come back to the cottage. The cottage was busy not only during the day but also at night. Furthermore, there were more than 20 unknown people. The shelter of the lynx was violated. And it was true. They saw him the last time the last day of August.    

 

On 01.09.2000 we search the lynx above the cottage in the ridge of the National Nature Reserve Šrámková. We came down in dark with a vocal accompaniment of a pygmy owl.

 

On 02.09.2000 I search the lynx in the opposite slope of the valley. There are no tracks. On the paths around the cottage I prepare patches with sand to find tracks.

 

03.-07.09.2000 we search the lynx approximately 2 km above the cottage but he is not there. On a sand patch I find a track which can belong to the lynx but after water drops falling from the tree it is really hard to determine them for sure.

 

On 08.-13.09.2000 we go to the cottage daily but we found just tracks of a domestic cat and a fox in the sand patches.

 

On 14.09.2000 Erika comes to the locality on bike but she did not have any success to call Mikino.

 

On 20.09.2000 I come to the cottage together with Eva Gregorová. I did not find Mikino´s tracks.

 

From 12. to 13.10.2000 we go through forests of Mt. Stoh approximately 4 km far from the cottage. At the timber-line we stay for the night. In Mt.Stoh we found a small ridge intensively exploited by a probably wild lynx. We found scats on six localities where the scat could not be buried. Maybe it is a border of home ranges. We saw a deer and a bear of about 140 kg 30 m from us, the bear was very light in color as mountain grass in autumn.

 

On 18.10 we stop close to the cottage for a moment but I was not successful in calling the lynx.

 

On 22.10.2000 together with Erika I arrive to check the lynx female’s den which lies approximately 200 m from the cottage. It is a cave around 4 meters long and at the end there is a resting place of a bear with torn grass. The diameter of the cave is approximately one meter and the bear which stays here irregularly covers it with the grass. The lynxes like to use such bear dens. Before the entrance to the cave we found an old lynx´ scat. The stems in the vicinity was scraped by lynx cubs.

 

On 23. and 24.12.2000 I am in the valley but I did not found any tracks of the lynxes. There is very little snow and it is crisp so it is really difficult to identify animal’s tracks.

 

On 03.01.2001 I go up to the valley on the road and I found a track of a lynx in the snow approximately 200 m below the cottage. It is 8 cm wide. The lynx passed through young forest around the road where animals grazed on blackberry leaves. The lynx often marked. I found another lynx´ track directly on the road, approximately 300 m above the cottage. It is as wide as below the cottage. The lynx went on the road for 250 meters and marked twice. According to the behavior it could be Mikino. I came back down the valley and I went up through the side valley of Šindľový potok brook opposite to the cottage and here I found tracks of two lynxes 8 cm wide. The lynxes went in one track line and they dispersed occasionally. They directed to the den in Ploštiny. They rolled in the snow once.

 

During the night on 10.01.2002 one lynx went down from the den to the cottage. The widht of the front foot was 8.5 cm. The lynx went down approximately 40 meters below the cottage and then it went up on the road to the small bridge over the brook. It marked on the snow block about 17 meters from the bridge at the edge of the road and it went down on the road. It went on the road for about 200 meters and then turned to the narrow forest road directing left to the young forests.

 

From 10. to 13.01.2001 we install trapping system for the lynx. Since that day this system is controlled daily to know if the lynx was trapped.

 

On 11.01.2001 I come back to track this lynx. Older tracks from the previous day lead us to Ploštiny. However that lynx came back during the night with another lynx the front foot of which was about 1 cm smaller – 7.5 cm. Both lynxes passed a meadow between Kykulka and Žiar, sometimes they moved in one track line. At one place, according to the tracks in the snow, it was obvious that the smaller lynx made attacks on the bigger one. There were also stumped places on the snow approximately 1 m2 large which seemed as places where they tried to mate. Then, both lynxes turned to the den. I do not know if they entered into it because I would not like to go there because of my tracks and furthermore I was not sure if there is not a bear in the den.

 

On 15.01.2001 I walk around the National Nature Reserve Šrámková in an arch, some 2 km far from the cottage but I saw just roes and deer. The older lynx´ tracks were from 12.01. They passed through the valley approximately 400 m above the cottage. At the evening I go on foot to Dierová. A Eurasian eagle owl calls across the river. Forasmuch as I went on foot, my friend from the elementary school Vlado Ullman took me by car in Dierová. He started to talk with me that he saw a lynx, the description of which was similar to Miki, not so far from the lower end of the Bystrička valley before holidays. At darkfall the lynx ran before his car on the road. He slowed down; the lynx stayed approximately 10 m from the edge of the road and when the car stopped the lynx ran away. Because a lot of people know me and they knew that I nursed the lynx in the Bystrička valley, from many different people I investigate that they saw the lynx also in this part of the road below the Bystrička valley. Usually we searched Miki in the vicinity of the cottage and rather in the upper part of the valley than in the lower part and in the vicinity of the Orava river. Probably Mikino started to go down to the river to catch ducks which are common there. At the evening as well as in the night they swam close to the bank and, for a waiting lynx, they represent a perfect prey. When he was younger and I went with him behind the city to the river he often caught mallards and sometimes, during such hunt, he disappeared in the forest on the opposite side of the river. Fortunately, we always found him after several hours. Sometimes, waiting for the lynx in the winter under cold weather was a misery but it was still better in comparison with leading a lynx on the dog-lead for almost all time of the trip as L. Kunc did it. 

 

In the evening of 04.02.2001 we leave the cottage together with my wife and en route we control the trapping system located in the slope via binoculars. Trap-doors are up so the system is ready.

 

On 05.02.2001 everybody has to go to the Administration of the Malá Fatra Mts. National Park in order to move our stuff to the new premises. This day, we did not control the trapping system for the first time.

 

In early morning on 06.02.2001 I arrive to the trapping system which is closed. I come closer. The cage is empty. The tracks go into as well as out of the cage. We did not prepare safety locks because, according to us, the doors were too heavy so the lynx should not lift them. However, the lynx was able to do it but till today I do not know how.

 

On 07.02.2001 I attach safety locks to the doors which prevent them from being opened once fallen.

 

On 08.02.2002 I check the trapping system. When I come near to it I see fallen doors. But I do not see any animal. I come closer. There is a fox in the cage with a relatively nice fur with only a 10 cm long area without hair in half of the tail. I released it. Before releasing I take two pictures but there is not enough light and although I use a tripod the animal still moves.

 

09.02.2002 – after analysis of all mentioned data I am sure that the lynx Miki was successfully introduced to the nature and he is still alive. Also further we will try to trap him to the trapping system in winter as well as autumn season. However, according to our observations, there is a a stable female lynx´ den about 200 m from the cottage of which we did not know before. Miki showed us it. Thus, also the vicinity of the cottage is defended by this lynx female. Against this background Miki was not able to defend his own home range in the vicinity of the cottage. Although he was pushed away by this female, there is a chance, during mating season that he will come back and so we will be successful in trapping him.

 

In the evening on 23.02.2001 Mišo Babnič controlled the trapping system situated 200 m in the valley below the cottage. He stayed to sleep in the cottage. He made fire in the furnace almost all night. At the morning he found lynx´ tracks 20 m around the cottage. The width was 7.5-8 cm which responds to Mikino. I go to this valley for eleven years and it never happened that a wild lynx came so close to the cottage when fresh tracks of people were around the cottage and fire was on for almost all night.

 

26.02.2002 – Erika controlled the trapping system the previous day. After returning down to the valley she found completely fresh tracks of the lynx in 5 cm thick snow passing from Žiar through asphalt road to the opposite slope of the valley. It was snowing so the tracks were completely fresh; the width of the front foot on the snow was 11 cm. It is the biggest lynx we ever tracked. I followed its tracks. The lynx went in a very exposed terrain still aslope up to the slope. It was 12.00 a.m., I rest and three deer get up and run away on the contour line. At 00:08 p.m. I hear the lynx calling from the opposite slope of the valley. I call back some eight times but silence followed. There are forty centimeters of snow and cold rain starts falling. I decided to follow the lynx´ voice. For a moment I am in the valley and then I go up on the road. Rather I go further to try to come closer to the lynx backward with the idea that I will listen from where the lynx is calling. When I arrive to the cottage I hear the lynx again.

 

The voice comes from the distance of 200 m from the slope opposite to the cottage. I turned from the road up to the steep slope with many cut terraces and fallen trees. The lynx called again somewhere above me. It is still raining. I am able to move very silently in the falling snow which is good for me. I stand still every few meters and listen. I come under a small rock wall where we often used to go with Mikino. I move about it from the right side step by step. I stop at the place from which I can partially see the ridge behind the top of the rock. The view almost took my breath away. A lynx sits on the ridge and gazes directly on me. In that moment it flashes in my mind that it should be our Miki because he did not run away. I put down my backpack slowly and I pick off the binoculars from my pocket. The lynx still looks at me. Increasingly I started to believe that it is Miki. With binoculars on my eyes I start to talk silently: “Miki, Miki come here, do not be afraid.” After my words the sitting lynx shook his right and left foot and then he lied down. He is calm and he does not look at me all the time. I take my cell phone and I call to Jano Korňan. I told him that Miki is sitting 35 meters in the face of me. Of course, he does not believe me as it is more than one and half year when we did not see him. He jokes and tells me to bring the microchip he has. I tell him that I am sure and I call the lynx again. After a moment Miki stood up, erected his tail in the same way as if we saluted and he started to go towards me calling aloud. The cell phone almost dropped out from the director’s hand when he heard the lynx. The lynx stopped behind a fallen tree approximately 15-20 meters from me and he looked at me for about one minute. Then he turned and came back to his place and lay down again.

 

Without any doubt, I am sure that it is our lynx. I know him by his spots but he is bigger and he has around thirty kilos. He looks darker but it can be due to the wet fur. I take binoculars again and admire the lynx with fabulous hair. At this moment the binoculars almost drop out from my hands. Behind the sidelong lying Miki I see a part of the head of another lynx. The idea that it is a female crossed my mind. The lynx female lying behind the ridge heard the human voice and she did not know what happened because Miki´s behavior was undisturbed. When he lay down to the original place she came to him and lay close to him so that I can see only one half of her head behind Miki. She did not see me yet. I tell myself that if I call again I can see her reaction. I call the lynx again. The female sits up immediately and looks from where the voice is coming. Almost immediately she sees me and she runs up the valley on contour line. Generally, she looks darker and about one quarter smaller then our lynx. After the female run away also Miki stood and went up to the slope slowly. I follow him to the place where the lynxes were lying and I call him. The lynx turned his head one more time but did not stop and slowly disappeared among trees. The two following days I spent by tracking both lynxes. Although it is still raining we have good results. We found where the lynxes mostly occurred, where they pass which gives us an assumption to take pictures or film them.

 

Because until half of the March 2002 no lynx got trapped, we disabled the stepping part of the trapping system.

 

In the morning on 10.01.2003 I come to the Bystrička valley. Tracks of two lynxes lead up the valley, it is in one line, sometimes they divided. The lynxes could go there around 08.01 and the width was up to 8.5 cm. Another bigger lynx with a track about 10 cm wide, passed there the same way but one day later according to the snowy track. When this bigger lynx came on the road to the bridge directing over the brook to the cottage the lynx turned to the bridge. The lynx passed close around the cottage on the path and then he went up to the slope opposite to the doors of the cottage. The animal went exactly like our Miki. Till we did not nurse Mikino I have never found that a wild lynx passed the bridge to the cottage although I had been visiting the valley for 10 years.

 

 

Other stories

 

Once in the morning I took care of Mikino. We took our usual path through Kuzmínovo to Gäceľ. Miki liked places where he could smell scents of wild animals. A close meadow looked the most suitable, approximately 300 meters far from a ski run. When we came to that meadow Mikino climbed to a tree which became his favorite tree later. Despite I tried to call him, he did not come, as he was afraid to come down. Because I didn’t want to wait for him I decided to climb to him on a thin branch. There I was sitting for two hours but without any results. After 15 more minutes I thought that I can try to pull his tail from below. Only thanks to this drastic method I finally took him from the tree.

 

Meeting with a female bear

Once, all members of our family went to the Bystrička valley to a family trip. The path lead to Rysia skala (Lynx Rock). When we went up to Rysia skala Miki started to behave uncommonly. A moment later we found that a female bear with her cubs was coming down on the slope 50 meters far from us. In that time we had a big deal of luck that Miki was with us and signalized them.

 

How Miki caught Miňo´s hamster

Miňo liked to play with his hamster before Mikino and once he lost it. It all started by Miňo releasing the hamster to the ground so it could run about. Initially Mikino just observed it but as he is a predator he was not able to control his instincts and caught it. The hamster had no time to run away so it finished in Miki´s jaws. The hamster’s intestines were lying all along the corridor. We had a lot of work to tide it.

 

Miki fought with malamute

This story happened in December when we were in Šrámková valley together with Milan Fillo and his 50 kg dog. Initially we were afraid of possible complications between Miki and the dog but Fillo persuaded us that nothing will happen. When we were with Miki he just looked bad on the dog but the moment we entered the cottage we heard screaming. All alarmed we ran out to find what happened and we saw Mikino with a wisp of hair in his jaws. After this incident the dog did not come out from the cottage for all day. Probably the dog understood that he could not wander in the territory of a stronger individual.

 

How he lay tired after the trip

Always when we came home from a trip Miki lay tired in his favorite place – a case with shoes. When he was older the case was not enough for him so it happened that his legs protruded far out. He liked to lie on his back showing his white belly with black spots. It is very interesting that the lynxes can be very patient. Although we woke him he never attacked us. 

 

He did not like dogs

One can tell that Miki did not like dogs excepting one poodle which he favored much. Always when he met this dog they only smelled each other and went on. However, we had one unpleasant experience with a dog. The owner of this dog kicked Mikino because Miki tore out a wisp of hair. In a second case Miki jerked out and ran to a schnauzer of the same name. The dog had a big deal of luck because if I did not catch Mikino he was able to kill the dog.

 

How we fed him at home

Always when we wanted to feed him we had to close him in the bathroom because he was very aggressive. It happened that he took a chicken from a kitchen unit and he put it under the table. We had a lot of work to take it back because Miki used his sharp claws to fight us off. A second time he scraped Erika only because she had a meat in her hands. Also Miloš had an unpleasant experience. Once he entered the toilet where the lynx usually ate and thus the lynx attacked him.

 

Parasites

Endoparasites

To control endoparasites, repeated analyses of the scat were performed. Only in one case there was found a microbe Escherichia coli from the analysis of 01.07.1999. According to me, the lynx took this microbe from ZOO. After treatment other findings was not confirmed.

Ectoparasites

No ectoparasites were found excepting the mentioned hard ticks and ear parasites, relatively rare, Staphylococcus schleiferi ssp. Coagulans which the lynx have since young age. Also these parasites he brought from ZOO. The mentioned parasites are able to irritate animals by itching. So because of this it is necessary to disinfect rears and treat animals in ZOO Bojnice which suffer with this problem. Gradually Miki was freed of it as we treated his ears with the mixed excipient from the pharmacy according to recommendations of the veterinary doctor. But it lasted 4 months. The parasite manifests in that the animal often nuzzles its ears as when cleaning them. The inside part of the ear is contaminated by rusty-red excretes – the scat of parasites. On 12.11.1999 the lynx was vaccinated against the rabies by MVDr. J. Pánis in Dolný Kubín city. 

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