Nature

Alaskan Man Wakes Up To Find Lynx Family Playing On His Porch (Photos)

One morning, Tim Newton of Alaska woke to hear scrambling and rustling on his porch. His first thought was of a break-in, but what he found was much, much better.

A lynx family – a mother and her kittens – were having playtime in his yard.

Newton said that he heard the sound around dawn. He put on his robe, went to the door, and drew back the curtain. There, almost close enough to touch, was a little lynx kitten and his siblings.

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

As Newton watched, a half dozen more kittens joined their sibling on the deck. Newton, an animal lover and photographer, ran for his camera. He started snapping as many pictures as he could.

The kittens and their mother stayed for about 40 minutes, romping and wrestling on Newton's porch. When they'd finished their play, the mama lynx gathered her cubs and herded them back toward the forest.

Newton, meanwhile, had ended up with dozens of shots. Unsurprisingly, they've gone viral.

More info: Tim Newton Photography

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

"It was right near dawn. I heard some noises; it was like something scrambling on the deck," Newton told The Dodo. "Coming out of my slumber, I thought, 'What the heck is that?'

So I put on my bathrobe and slowly eased back the curtain. And right there, 2 feet away, was a lynx kitten. He was sitting there watching his siblings race by."

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

"They were running back and forth, pouncing on each other. I started snapping away. I thought, 'Wow! What incredible luck. This just beats all. This is just wonderful!'

They were so cute. It was cute-tastic," Newton said. "It was amazing." The family stayed long enough for the photographer to take dozens of photos.

"They started to play again. For the next 40 minutes, they all played on my deck. They were chasing each other, rolling and wrestling," said Newton.

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

Glimpses of Lynx

Newton says that he's "thankful to have seen these lynx up close." He gets that this kind of thing doesn't happen every day.

Lynx aren't exactly spotlight-seekers. They're relatively common in their Alaskan habitats, as long as there's plenty of food, but they tend to stay under the radar.

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

The first documentation of a lynx den didn't even happen in Alaska until 2015 when US Fish and Wildlife Service began collaring the animals in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.

Lynx tend to gather where there's plenty of their dietary staple, the snowshoe hare. That's why you see them mostly in Alaska and Canada.

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

The Lynx Threatened

The natural habitat of the lynx used to extend southward from Canada into some of the coniferous forests of the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, as trapping and timber harvesting began to encroach on their habitat, their numbers started to decline.

Now, the lynx has protection under the Endangered Species Act and is officially a threatened species.

They're almost exclusively found in Canada and throughout most of Alaska, though they're not present in the southeastern part of the state.

Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska


Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska


Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska


Photo credit: Tim Newton Photography - Rugged Alaska

Make sure you visit Tim's Facebook page or his website for more amazing photos and to follow his Alaskan adventures in the great north!

If you enjoyed these photos, please remember to SHARE this article with your family and friends on Facebook!

Sign up for your daily dose of enlightenment and positivity!