Extremely rare Canada lynx spotted in Minnesota's Chippewa National Forest

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CASS LAKE, Minn. - A woman hiking in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota Saturday, Dec. 2 captured a rare sighting of a Canada lynx.

Linda Palcich saw the lynx in the Sugar Bush area of the forest and submitted the photo to the Bemidji Pioneer. According the the Pioneer, Palcich took the photo around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Canada lynx sightings are particularly rare in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there have been 426 reports with location information of Canada lynx sightings in the state, 63 of which have been verified as Canada lynx.

Cass County, where this particular sighting occurred, had 12 previously reported sightings, according to the Minnesota DNR.

The most frequent sightings of Canada lynx in Minnesota have occurred in the far northeast portion of the state near the Canadian border.

The Canada lynx received federal threatened status in March, 2000 through Nov. 14, 2006.

According to the Minnesota DNR, Canada lynx sightings are most likely to occur just after the population of their main prey, showshoe hare, crashes in Canada.

Canada lynx are about the same size as a bobcat, but have brown fur with white undersides, long ear tufts and a pronounced goatee under the chin. Their hind legs appear longer than their front legs.

Adult Canada lynx weigh anywhere from 20 to 44 pounds and are around 3 feet in length, according to the Minnesota DNR.