Life was nothing but tough for this mother lynx. She was trapped by a Russian breeder and forced to a miserable life in a cage, alongside other lynx. For over four years, Koshka and Miass have been used only for breeding, but sadly they didn’t even got the chance to meet their babies, because as soon as Koshka gave birth, her kittens have been taken away from her. The tiny kits were then sold as pets all over the world!
Fortunately, after years in captivity, both Koshka and Miass have been rescued, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Victor Lukarevsky and his team. But the biggest challenge for the rescuers was now, to rehabilitate these wild cats and to release them back where they belong, in the wilderness. Although they have been caged for 4 years (an enormous amount of time for a wild animal, especially for a lynx, whose lifespan is around 15 years), Lukarevsky was still hopeful as they were born in the wild.
Dr. Lukarevsky and wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan recorded the lynxes long rehabilitation journey in the BBC series – Snow Cats and Me.
“When I went to see them, I thought there’s no way that you could get those animals back to health and rehabilitate them,” Gordon Buchanan said. “But Victor [Lukarevsky] pointed out that they were born in the wild, so retained the same wild instincts.”
The most difficult part for the team is to help the rescued cats to be wild again, and to not trust humans. In order to survive in the tough wilderness, they had to rely only on theirselves, and no one else. But a great step was already achieved as the pair became parents again, while at the rehabilitation center in the Ural mountains. Koshka gave birth to a litter of twi babies – Ivan and Aliona!
“I think [they are] possibly the two most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen,” Gordon said upon discovering the two weeks old kittens.
Watch mother lynx Koshka cuddling with Aliona, one of her two kittens!