Photos

Showdown between a lynx and a beaver caught on camera by Yukon photographer

Gerry Trudeau missed it at first, but there it was — just behind the beaver, partially hidden in the trees, and staring intently — a lynx.

Gerry Trudeau's camera trap in Yukon caught some wild, 'once in a lifetime' shots

Photographer Gerry Trudeau thought this was an 'alright' photo of a beaver. Then he spotted the lynx, lurking behind. (Gerry Trudeau)

At first, Gerry Trudeau thought he just had an "alright" shot of a busy beaver, dragging a tree through the snow. He'd captured it with a camera trap he'd set up near his home in Carmacks, Yukon.

Then he kept scrolling through his photos, and saw something else lurking in the scene — a lynx.

'I went, 'holy crap, look at that,'' Trudeau said. (Gerry Trudeau)

"So I backtracked until I got back to this photo, and I went, 'holy crap, look at that.' And I was just stunned," he recalled.

That "alright" shot was actually something special.

Trudeau missed it at first, but now there it was — just behind that seemingly unsuspecting beaver, partially hidden in the trees, and staring intently at the overgrown rodent — the lynx.

Not quite licking his chops, but close.

"A once in a lifetime photo," Trudeau says.

'A real guessing game'

Camera trapping — or, setting up a remote camera with a motion-sensor shutter — is a new hobby for Trudeau, and he's quickly become addicted to the thrill of discovery.

Trudeau had set up his camera trap near a beaver's ice hole, thinking he might get some neat shots. (Gerry Trudeau)

"It's a real guessing game," he said. "You're placing the camera pointed at a pre-determined location and that's where the focus is. After that, it's just up to Mother Nature for an animal to trigger your sensor."

After those initial shots of the beaver, Trudeau left his camera in place and more amazing scenes followed. 

The beaver kept busy, coming and going from the water. And the lynx became a regular, watchful presence. No points for guessing how this story ends.

But in some shots, Trudeau also spotted a wolf.

Enter stage left: the wolf. 'I actually thought that's how the beaver would lose its life,' Trudeau said. (Gerry Trudeau)

"I actually thought that's how the beaver would lose its life — to the wolf. I didn't think it would be the lynx," Trudeau said.

"I just figured that they were in the same weight class, and for a lynx to take on a beaver — that's quite the feat." 

A series of shots capture the beaver's last day, and some violent confrontations with the lynx. It would prove to be the final showdown. 

"That was actually my last shots of the beaver. The following morning I found the carcass," he said. 

The final showdown. 'The following morning, I found the carcass,' said Trudeau. (Gerry Trudeau)

"It's sad for the beaver, absolutely — but it's the circle of life."

Trudeau's camera trap is still in place, and he's managed to get a few more shots of the lynx chowing down. He says the cat came back "for some feed sessions" over the course of several days, and was there again as recently as Sunday. 

The wolf has also made another cameo — a dark, brooding figure, eyeing the remains of a meal that could've been his.

The wolf returns, a little late for dinner. (Gerry Trudeau)

Trudeau plans to leave his camera in place for a while yet.

"Certainly the smell is still there, so that's still going to attract some predators," he said.

"I'm actually hoping for a wolverine to come by. They're more of a scavenger, so that would be right up their alley."

The lynx has been back for several feed sessions caught on film. (Gerry Trudeau)

With files from Sandi Coleman

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