Yellowknife woman pins down lynx attacking her dog

Shania Tymchatyn says she pinned down a lynx for more than 20 minutes to save her dog.

Shania Tymchatyn recalls a lynx attack on her dog in Tin Can Hill area on Monday

A Yellowknife woman pinned down a lynx for about 20 minutes after it attacked her dog Arlo, left, in Yellowknife. Arlo escaped the attack without being hurt. (Submitted by Shania Tymchatyn/David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

Shania Tymchatyn and her boyfriend have been taking their dogs for walks every day at Yellowknife's Tin Can Hill, but after what happened Monday night, they won't be going back anytime soon.

Around 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Tymchatyn and her boyfriend Dave took their three dogs for a walk, heading toward the trail.

As usual, the dogs were off leash, sticking close to the couple.

With her boyfriend a little ahead of her, suddenly an animal appeared out of the bush and grabbed her youngest pup, Arlo.

"All I remember is falling to the ground and pulling them apart," she says.

Tymchatyn said she didn't even know what kind of animal she was pulling away from her dog.

"I remember throwing my dog to the opposite way from us, and grabbing this animal by the neck and body, managing to get myself on top of them," she said.

She remembers seeing Arlo run away, and telling her boyfriend, "Go, go get Arlo."

Shania Tymchatyn wrestled a lynx off her dog and pinned it to the ground for more than 20 minutes until the area was cleared of people and other dogs. (Rami Kaur)

Some help arrives

Tymchatyn continued to cry and scream for help when a man came out of his home and asked if she was OK.

When he got closer, the man told her she was holding a lynx.

"So that was pretty frightening," she said.

She tried not to make eye contact with the animal.

My head was hurting from having such a strong grip on this lynx.- Shania Tymchatyn

"All I could think about was, 'is Arlo OK?' That's all that was in my head. I was just worried about my dog."

A few minutes later, Tymchatyn saw her boyfriend with Arlo, but they stayed back in case the lynx tried to attack again. Her boyfriend and the man warned other dog walkers to leave the area.

"By this time, it felt like it was a long time just by sitting there, and my knees were starting to get cold from being crushed in the snow, and my head was hurting from having such a strong grip on this lynx," said Tymchatyn.

Shania Tymchatyn and her boyfriend Dave encountered a lynx while they were walking their three dogs. She says she pinned down the lynx for more than 20 minutes to save her small dog Arlo. (Submitted by Shania Tymchatyn)

Releasing the lynx

After about 20 minutes, she wasn't sure what to do; Tymchatyn was losing her grip on the lynx. The man who was helping her went back to his house to grab some lacrosse sticks.

"So [the man] blocked me just as I was letting [the lynx] go," she said.

"And thankfully, the lynx didn't do anything. He kind of ran back off into the bush."

They knew wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources were on their way, so they kept a close eye on the lynx, which was on the trail.

"So thankfully, everybody's safe. Arlo is safe. We have no bites and scratches," she said.

WATCH | Yellowknifers caught a lynx walking around town on Monday:

Lynx walking down street in Yellowknife

1 year ago
Duration 0:18
A lynx walks down a street in Yellowknife. Shania Tymchatyn pinned one down for more than 20 minutes after it attacked one of her dogs. She released it after the area, a popular one to walk dogs, had been cleared.

Never going back

Social media posts also pointed to a lynx on Yellowknife's popular Frame Lake Trail on Monday. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the lynx is still at large. 

Tymchatyn said she's never going back on the Tin Can Hill trail. She and her boyfriend will be walking their dogs on the streets from now on, and on their leash.

"Oh, I'm petrified," she said.

"I know that [lynx] can come down main street, but I mean, it's better than the bush," she said.

She said she's been warned to be careful of wildlife when she's on the trail, but never thought she'd see a lynx. It was, after all, the first time she'd seen one.

"It happened so quickly," she said. 

"I just want everybody to be aware of the wildlife. Keep your fur babies close to you and never let them out of sight. I'll do anything it takes to save my fur babies. So please do the same out there."

Arlo ran off after the lynx attacked him, but was not injured. (Submitted by Shania Tymchatyn)

With files from Wanda McLeod


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