Photographer spots lynx napping outside Alberta legislature

An Edmonton photographer was caught off guard Monday when he spotted a lynx resting under a tree outside the Alberta legislature.

Tim Osborne was walking the grounds during lunch when he spotted the big cat.

READ MORE: Rare sighting of a lynx in Edmonton’s west end

“Well this was unexpected to say the least,” Osborne wrote in a post on Facebook.

The photographer said he didn’t have a good camera with him at the time but he did manage to take a couple photos. They appear to show the lynx curled up sleeping under a tree on the busy legislature grounds.

According to the Edmonton & Area Land Trust, the Canada lynx is part of the Canadian cat family, along with the bobcat and the cougar. Unlike cougars, lynx are rarely seen in the wild and are described as “elusive nighttime hunters.”

“Due to their elusive nature, observing a lynx in its natural habitat is a rare treat and usually a fleeting, memorable moment,” the EALT website reads.

The population of lynx in Alberta sharply declined in the start of the 1900s during the fur trade. Their population steadied again in the mid-1950s when wearing fur started going out of fashion.

It is still legal to trap lynx within certain regulations, EALT said.