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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has welcomed a few new animals to the park this spring, including a litter of lynxes that got their first check-up on Thursday.
The Canadian lynxes were born six weeks ago, but today was their first trip to the vet’s office without their mother. Head veterinarian Dr. Ginger Sturgeon examined the cubs and revealed their genders.
“Three girls and one boy, so, yeah, I think he is going to have his hands full having three sisters, but we’ll see,” she said. “We’ll see who comes out as the most assertive out of the four of them.”
The cats are the first litter of Canadian lynxes born at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Up until now, the cubs’ mother Chayne was their sole caretaker and she keeps a close eye on her bundles of fur.
“She’s very protective, she is always right there, she is hissing, she wants to make sure you aren’t going to mess with her little kittens,” said Dr. Sturgeon.
Chayne gave birth to five lynxes, but sadly one died. According to zoo officials, that is very common for cats who have larger litters.
“Unfortunately, right now, there are only four, but these four look phenomenal and they look healthy,” Dr. Sturgeon said.
The Pittsburgh Zoo participates in a species survival plan that helps preserve threatened species like the Canadian lynx. Zoo officials said there is a chance not all of the kittens will remain together after their first year.
“Then, they will probably get breeding recommendations to go on to other facilities,” said Dr. Sturgeon. “So we can continue to propagate this species here in captivity to serve as a spokesman to our wild counterparts.”
There is no timetable for when the kittens get names or when they will be debuted to the public on exhibit.