Sick lynx spotted in west Quebec put down

An emaciated, oddly-behaving lynx spotted in the Outatouais this week was put down Thursday, say officials with the National Capital Commission.

Abnormal for normally shy animal to stay in view of people

The lynx was spotted near the P8 parking lot in Gatineau Park on Wednesday. (David Bilenkey/Submitted photo)

An emaciated, oddly-behaving lynx spotted in the Outaouais this week was put down Thursday, say officials with the National Capital Commission.

The 15-pound lynx was trapped Thursday morning after being seen at a number of "urban-type environments," including in downtown Chelsea, said Christie Spence, the NCC's senior manager of natural resources and land management at Gatineau Park.

The lynx was thin and malnourished when spotted in Chelsea, Que., and Gatineau Park. (National Capital Commission)

The normally-shy animal was also chasing mice on the Gatineau Parkway on Wednesday night, prompting the road's closure.

"At that point, we got quite concerned. This doesn't really reflect the behaviour of a wild animal," said Spence.

Vets concerned lynx had rabies

Officials initially considered releasing the "very, very thin" animal back into the park, said Spence. But veterinarians with Quebec's Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks felt the lynx might have rabies and recommended it be euthanized instead.

"We would love to have been able to release this animal back into the wild, but we also have to balance public safety concerns," said Spence.

The NCC confirmed Thursday afternoon the lynx had been euthanized.

An NCC spokesperson said it was abnormal for the lynx to be out in areas where people were. (NCC)