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Diary » Year with lynxes



Today it is exactly one year since Erika and Daska went to Zoo Ostrava first time to look after newborns of Eurasian Lynx race. During that year we have had lots of fun with them, but mainly we have developed new knowledge and senses with them. It’s been 10 months since we lived together with them at this cottage in National Park Velka Fatra (High Fatra).




Milos have started to clean their aviary. For the time being Muro and Lici were running after each other outside. We felt sorry for Lizy, so we let her out together with Muro. They were so happy to see one another in the front yard of the cottage. They didn’t run, but flu like kites over the bridge to the forest and back. A bit later, they run to the forest above our cottage, so together with Lici we spend several hours there….looking for ther. Lici decide to show Muro here routes went she went gad around few days ago. We walked all the way to the next valley, where lynxes were playing together. As soon as they laid around in the forest I ordered them to follow me back. To my surprise they listened, even when I sprint little, so did they…..but the perfect moment didn’t last for long. Once they saw a view of a meadow, they stopped and I couldn’t do anything about it to move them. So I left only with Lici to our cottage. Lynxes didn’t get by the sunset. At night I went to pick up Silvia from the train station and when we got back around midnight, there was no sight of them…




We had easy day in our cottage. We took care of our animal hood cleaned the lynxes room inside of the cottage. In the evening we went to look for them to the forest. We followed the route I took with them yesterday, called their names, but nothing in return. In the valley above the cottage I was telling story to Silvia of Erika’s recent meeting with a bear. Ever since she looked around for suitable trees to climb….just in case. Not far from us we could hear lots of birds calling. Maybe Lizi and Muro? Even Lici went there to check but no hear of barking, so she got back after while. We continued walking above the cottage, when we heard strange roar. Silvia turned and asked if I heard it. I looked at Lici how she would react, just looking and smelling. Two horrific roars again. This time I have no doubts it was a bear. I turned to look at Silvia, but her against all the theories of what not to do when meeting with bear run down the hill. I shouted at her: stop running, but the urge of survival was much stronger. Lici run after her…. So I started to descend too. I wanted to have a look where the bear was hiding, but without Lici, having heard his roars and all my senses, it was best not to. There by our cottage Silvia was waiting for me, knowing she acted like a fool when running from a bear…. I didn’t know how far he was from us, but most likely he only let us know he was around. By starting to run, it can cause a trouble. Bears are scared of humans as much as we are of them and in most cases they retriet…





It rained the whole day. No sign if our lynxes.



Milos and Erika have changed shift with us. Still lynxes are not to be seen anywhere…. We gathered they have plenty of food in the forest. After two days of raining, baby birds are soaked so they have difficulties to escape from them.




It’s been one week since Lizi and Muro have been out there in the forest. They are not bothered to show they faces if they’re ok. Ruthless -)  We can only think that the project came out successful. It seems, that we took a great position of step parents and taught them well how to survive in the nature. Hunger is an enemy to anyone.  Believe or not, that a week is a long period to feel hungry even for lynxes. It means that they should know how to hunt by themselves. The only thing we worried about are poachers and hunters.




Still nothing. I am very anxious when they will be showing up. So far, no one from local guides and workers have seen them yet. We started to move around photo traps and dispatch them further in the forest and above the cottage. It is like to look for a needle in a haystack, but it’ll make us feel more comfortable. If we took pictures of them, we would have evidence that they are fine. Even though I haven’t experienced to being a parent yet, but I know what it feels like when your child doesn’t return home from club in a set hour….:)





We arrived to the cottage with Tomas about midday. Besides gloomy forecast, the sun was shining, so we enjoyed lovely afternoon. Not only we had a great weather, but also we managed to take lots of photos of different species of bugs. Early evening I took Lili with me to trace our two lynxes in the forest above our cottage, but without any success. While searching for them we looked for some mushrooms too, however we haven’t found any, even though the conditions were right.



The beautiful morning directed us with rich programme for the day. We went to look for our lynx’s siblings in the area. We took a path above our cottage. It was full with wild strawberries and was rich with footprints of various animals that can be seen better after rainfall. Seeing some mushroom hidden under side growth out of the path made us very happy. Even summer shower didn’t discourage us to continue in our journey. While walking though the forest Tomas noticed some animal, but being quite far, we weren’t sure if it was bear or wild boar. Persnaly I felt relieved when the animal decide to go the opposite direction to us, so I didn’t have to be in the same position as few weeks ago -). No traces of our lynxes, just one foot print of a wolf. We hope that Muro and Lizi doing as well as we hoping them to do.  Our ascent was disrupted by a storm so we decided to return back home. When we got back it was raining intensively.



It’s been 19 days since we have been looking for our lynxes and finally good news came in. The guide of the valley have seen apparently Lizi 3 km from our cottage, she seemed to be in good condition. Right away we went to the same place and few meters away we found some footprints of them and same few meters further. This are very great news for us, meaning Lizi and Muro are able to look after themselves and they don’t need us to feed them anymore. However, it is also very sad, cause we got use to them after one year, but this was coming and we knew that. We were walking around and calling them by their names. We slept outside that night. About two at night another storm came, a lot of lightening! We hided on someone’s patio nearby some cottage. We didn’t choose the best place to sleep, three hours the rain was falling on me from the roof. Lili was enjoying her dreams next to my feet.  Though our lynxes were around where we stayed, approximately 100m from us. We found fresh footprint form Lizi. I am sure that  Muro have walked through the car rails full of rain water. They didn’t react to our voices. We see what will upcoming months will bring to us in the valley?




We installed some photo traps, waiting for some images of our lynxes. We also put a piece of meat in front of them.




Every day we check the same spot if we wouldn’t see them. The photo traps only had taken photos of various animals, but not our lynxes.





Lynxes took part (present only with their pictures) on a press conference with our partner Land Rover. We are in the middle of the project and Lizi and Muro are free in the nature.





The press conference: Return of the lynxes and Land Rover

Tomáš Hulík, Miloš Majda, Ľuboš Kekéši, Zorka Kalousková and Land Rover Defender




Today we met with the guide of the valley. He gave us great news.  They saw a little lynx nearby one cottage on side of the valley. So the following day. Fantasy! It had been nearly 2 months since we saw them last and they are alive and healthy.




In the evening I took my car to the valley when young lynx cross my way. I stopped and called for Lizi and Muro. Nothing. I slowly moved the car to the spot he jumped to. It was the path to manhole, our source of drinking water. Entering deeper into the path to light the way I suddenly saw a lynx, but he run before I had a chance to stop. Oh gosh, I didn’t have a torch. It was beautiful experience. After two month I saw again one of our dotted species…

20. 8. 2009

Two months and two days since one of the lynxes showed up back nearby our cottage. One of the photo traps fixed onto the bridge leading to our cottage since they have been gone, took a photo, most likely of Muro. We were so thrilled. It seems that both lynxes have adapted well in the nature. Muro had his ear torn on two places next to each other, 2 cm deep. Probably from fighting a wild boar? The wild life isn't simple. Lynxes' fights are important part of their life to protect their space.


Odchytové zariadenie na rysov. Vľavo hotové v pravo rozostavané.


Stopa_rysa_.jpg Tento rok predčasne nasnežilo v októbri a sneh sa držal skoro dva týždne. Potešilo nás, že konečne budeme môcť stopovať zver a hlavne šelmy. V novembri podmienky na stopovanie vhodné neboli. V decembri snehu nie je veľa no na stopovanie stáčí. Z terénu sa však vraciame znechutení. Nie len, že sme na snehu a ani pred fotopascami nezaznamenali pohyb šeliem okrem jedného mladého tohoročného rysa, a menšieho medveďa, ale podľa stôp rapídne ubudlo aj ostatnej zveri. Tam, kde v minulom roku boli oblasti po noci dochodené zverou nie je nič, alebo v okolí krmelcov pozorujeme 3 - 5 ks vysokej. Dolinu navštevujeme v posledných troch rokoch veľmi často, máme množstvo video a fotodokumentácie, komunikujeme z lesníkmi, tak možeme porovnávať súčastný stav. Ešte počkáme na silnejšiu zimu v januári a februári 2010, kedy sa v okolí dvoch hlavných krmelcov pravidelne za posledné roky zdržovalo 120 až 140 ks jelenej zveri. Potom ku zistenému stavu a iným dôležitých zisteniam zaujmeme stanovisko v médiách a budeme hľadať riešenie. Už sa ani nedivíme, že do odchytových zariadení na rysov nemôžeme nič chytiť. Pri takom extrémnom vyrušovaní poľovníkmi za dňa i v noci to je zrejme normálny stav.

Kysuce_5.jpg Pre ilustráciu k predošlému príspevku pripájam fotografie z fotopascí od Vlada. Na fotografii je vidno Vlada odchádzajúceho od fotopasce po vykonanej kontrole /13.12.2009 o 01:54 poobede/. Na druhom snímku vidno rysicu, ktorá ide oproti po jeho stope v o necelé tri hodiny neskôr /13.12.2009 o 04:52 poobede /. Lokalita je minimálne vyrušovaná, tak zvierati nevadia ani čerstvé stopy človeka a ani blesk foťáka. Podotýkam, že len v decembri 2009 sa na tomto mieste nafotili rysy 3 krát. Vlado podľa fotografií rozoznáva dvoch odlišných dospelých jedincov a na lokalite sa vyskytuje ešte tretí jedinec. Tieto pozorovania doložené fotkami a sledovaním stôp rysov jednoznačne dokazujú ako to funguje na lokalite, ktorá nie je vyrušovaná poľovníkmi hoci aj tu ľudia často prejdu. No kde sa aktívne nestrieľa a kde celé noci nejazdia terénne autá "poľovníkov" /tak ako v Ľubochnianskej doline/ život zvierat a ich správanie funguje normálne.
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