Rescued lynx tastes freedom for the first time in 13 years

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As an animal lover I find it unacceptable to keep wild animals in tiny cages, far away from their natural habitats. Yet, there are still some many wild creatures forced to live in deplorable conditions. Fortunately, some of those poor animals are getting the chance to step outside after many years of sad life. It is also the case of Cleo, a Canada lynx.

Before being rescued by the Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, this majestic wild cat has never tasted the freedom. The 13-year-old animal was kept inside of a house, as a pet, for her entire life. Thankfully, it all came to an end after the staff at the sanctuary received a phone call from Cleo’s owner who said he cannot take care of her anymore.

“The owner told us he had two lynxes, a male and female. The other lynx had passed away,”Tammy Thies, executive director of the sanctuary, told The Dodo. “He bought them from a game farm to keep them as pets. [But] wild animals should never be pets, but they do imprint on humans.”

Helping Cleo to integrate to a wild life, wasn’t an easy mission at all. “So you can imagine a lynx that had been declawed on all four paws, who lived in a house and had never left that house except for a few vet visits over 13 years, was quite scared by the move,” Tammy said.

It would take some time, until Cleo will be ready to return where she belongs, but so far she’s making big progresses. “She’s definitely shy. She prefers her own company … it’s taking her longer to realize she’s a wild cat,” Tammy added.

Watch Cleo’s first steps outside for the first time in 13 years!

h/t: thedodo