Petra is expecting kittens, Klif recovered from an injury

Posted - May 18, 2023

In April 2023, the LIFE Lynx project team, led by the Department of Forestry from the University of Ljubljana and ZOO Ljubljana, successfully recaptured the resident female lynx Petra and fitted her with a new collar. We have been tracking Petra since spring of 2021. A few months after her capture, she gave birth to four male kittens, including lynx Bor, who was later fitted with a collar as well. In December 2022, Petra’s collar stopped transmitting data due to malfunction. However, in early April, we discovered fresh lynx kill by chance, which luckily turned out to be Petra’s, and we then set traps to capture her. After a successful recapture, we examined Petra’s health status and replaced her old collar with a new one that would allow us to monitor her for the next two years. During the examination, we also conducted an ultrasound and we were delighted to discover that she was pregnant with at least two kittens. Petra was in excellent physical condition, having gained around 3 kg since her first capture.

Petra’s ultrasound photo. Photo: ZOO Ljubljana

Veterinarian from ZOO Ljubljana checking Petra with ultrasound. Photo: Maj Hočevar

Petra is sharing her territory with a resident male Klif, who ventured outside of his home range to Croatia in mid-March for a mating excursion. Upon his return to Slovenia, 11 days later, he was observed limping badly on his hind leg. The reason for his injury remains unknown- it could have been caused by a car collision or a territorial dispute with another male. His injury prevented him from hunting larger prey, putting him at risk of starvation. We monitored him closely during this period, and we only found remains of an old carcass, indicating that he most likely had to scavenge for food due to his injury. However, in late April, Klif successfully hunted and killed an adult roe deer, a positive sign that he had recovered. The most recent GPS data indicates that Klif is now moving normally and patrolling his territory as he did before. During the mating season, he was observed alongside Petra, suggesting that they had likely mated. We will continue to closely monitor his health in the upcoming weeks to ensure his well-being.

Petra recapture team; veterinarian, researchers from Biotechnical Faculty, and a local hunter. Photo: Maj Hočevar

Home ranges of lynxes Klif and Petra. Photo: Lan Hočevar

Camera trapping photo of Klif and Petra during the mating season. Photo: LIFE Lynx