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Iberian Lynx recently in USA?

Discussion in 'United States' started by SusScrofa, 2 Nov 2022.

  1. SusScrofa

    SusScrofa Well-Known Member

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    Great Escape: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My!

    This article (and several others) list a "Spanish" Lynx named Ginger as present in Elmira's Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit in Florida. Unfortunately, these articles are from a decade ago and Ginger has since passed away.

    Is it possible that she was actually an Iberian Lynx? Was this species ever present in the USA in recent years?

    EDIT: The above article also says another lynx named Boris was also Spanish, but another article list him as Canadian. He has also since passed away.
     
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    There is zero chance that was an Iberian Lynx.
     
  3. Aardwolf

    Aardwolf Well-Known Member

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    There is a lot of precedent for animals being misidentified in newspaper articles, which are written for the general public and not for folks with extensive zoological knowledge. I have an article which talks about the Galapagos penguins at The Baltimore Zoo... buried pretty far down in the article is mention that they came from Peru, making them Humboldts, not Galapagos.
     
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  4. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey In the Swamp Premium Member 5+ year member

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    I'm not going to upload the picture to the site, but here is a link to a picture from their website:
     
  5. Jeremy vacca

    Jeremy vacca Member 5+ year member

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    Ginger in the picture is certainly an Iberian lynx. The tufted beard, spotting pattern and coloration confirm it. Boris is Eurasian though.
     
  6. SusScrofa

    SusScrofa Well-Known Member

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    I found a podcast video and the founder herself says its an Iberian Lynx. Not sure why she'd be lying. Skip to 32:00



    Here is another picture of Ginger, property of the website mygoodmemories.com (one of the lynx is Boris)
    http://www.mygoodmemories.com/_Media/dsc02117_med.jpeg

    Hopefully these pictures are clear enough that an expert here could make an ID.
     
  7. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    No chance it's Iberian. They have been recognized as endangered and protected for decades, and an export from Spain would be rather obvious.
     
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  8. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Uniqueness garners attention. Roadside zoos and sanctuaries are notorious for misidentifications.
     
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  9. SusScrofa

    SusScrofa Well-Known Member

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    Its so strange that the fact is barely mentioned in passing. If it was done to garner attention I would think they'd advertise themselves as the only holders or something to that effect. But yeah, I wouldn't be surprise it was just a misidentification of a Eurasian Lynx or something like that from the people who gave her to the sanctuary.

    Haven't Galapagos Marine Iguanas been found in zoos even though they are banned from export? It doesn't seem entirely impossible.
     
  10. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    I have long suspected that roadside zoo misidentifications are not intentional to attract attention but rather that the people who own the zoo have no idea what species they actually have.
     
  11. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey In the Swamp Premium Member 5+ year member

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    To be fair the owner states that she is "25 years old", and that was 8 years ago - so the import could have been as long as 33 or more years ago.
    Without knowing more about the circumstances of how they acquired her, it is hard to say, but yes, even endangered species end up in odd places at times, especially 30 years ago.
     
  12. dillotest0

    dillotest0 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    I don't call myself an expert, though I have seen several pictures of either species - and have seen Eurasian Lynx and Bobcat in life. My opinion on this photo is that either lynx in the photo appears too rich in colour for me to safely say that either is an Iberian Lynx. That said, the picture posted by @SwampDonkey does look remarkably closer to the species, so I am unsure as to whether Ginger is in the picture at all. Though I will say that even in SwampDonkey's pic, the markings are still a bit 'not quite there' in regards to a true Iberian Lynx.
    That is to say, not all the blame for staff misidentifying zoo-animals can go to smaller establishments - I recall one story [and I believe others here do as well] where the San Diego Zoo acquired a black piglet from Guinea, and presumed it to be a Giant Forest Hog. As said pig grew up, doubts were cast on its identity - and now it is believed that this would have been a melanistic Red River Hog or Bush-pig.
    TLDR: A resounding ... maybe
     
    Last edited: 2 Nov 2022
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  13. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey In the Swamp Premium Member 5+ year member

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    The picture I posted is from the facilities website :) FWIW

    It is also possible that it is a hybrid Iberian/Eurasian/Canadian lynx and not purely Iberian.
     
  14. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey In the Swamp Premium Member 5+ year member

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    That is very true, it also happens in larger places on occasion.
     
  15. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Yes - all of them illegally smuggled out of Ecuador who is furious and indeed has even attempted to get CITES to try and push return of the animals.

    Yeah definitely true in many circumstances - the whole "mountain coati" deal is a good example.

    True - though still falls within the time of CITES protection for the most part. Though CITES isn't the greatest legal force nor most accurate by any means. I'm still more inclined to suspect this is a misidentified Eurasian.
     
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  16. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Spain and Portugal are very proud of their endemic feline, and it is one of their most iconic animals even to the average residents of these countries - there is now way they would have allowed an import for a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if it has never happened in recorded history.
     
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  17. SusScrofa

    SusScrofa Well-Known Member

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    They would never allow it, which is why this 100% would of been a totally illegal exchange if Ginger was indeed an Iberian Lynx. And as @SwampDonkey said, this exchange would of happened 30+ years ago, maybe even further back if Ginger was born in captivity from parents who were traded. Certainly back in those days it would of been easier to engage in illegal trades with no one knowing.
     
  18. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Iberian Lynx was listed as CITES I in January 1990 - almost 33 years ago now. After being on CITES II for 13 years before that. So that doesn't exactly help your point.

    That said, there are several CITES records of Iberian Lynx imported into the US from Spain and Portugal, but the numbers don't add up with the population, nor does it match the unknown status of the species here.
     
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  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    The photograph in question looks nothing like Iberian Lynx whatsoever..... my money is strongly on a Canadian x Eurasian hybrid, or a pure Eurasian as a secondary possibility.

    And I have seen the species in the flesh, unlike (I suspect) anyone else in this thread. This comparison should make the point clearer:

    upload_2022-11-2_23-12-29.png

    I strongly doubt this, too - that figure would put her at two years older than the lifespan record for Eurasian Lynx, seven years older than the lifespan record for Canadian Lynx, and well over a decade older than the lifespan record for Spanish Lynx!
     
  20. dillotest0

    dillotest0 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    I would suppose that my conclusion was, after all a bit of 'wishful grabbing' - trying to see the animal as what it may have been hoped to be - but with this evidence presented I am happy now in the opinion that the sanctuary mentioned here, in good certainty, never has held Lynx pardinus.