Two Canadian lynx were spotted in southwestern Colorado last weekend, and a photo of the rare sighting quickly went viral online.
Posted on Reddit by jj_poophouse, the image quickly rose to the top of the posts from this week with more than 3200 upvotes and 1135 comments.
The photographer (not the poster) was retired National Park Service employee Steve Chaney, who snapped the image of the cats from the window of his car on Molas Pass between Silverton and Durango in the San Juan National Forest. The original poster said the photo was taken around 8:30 in the morning last weekend.
Canadian lynx are common in the northern U.S. and western Canada, but extremely rare in Colorado. The species went extinct in the area in the 1970s, but in 1999, the Colorado Division of Wildlife began a program to reintroduce the cats to the area. Although it will take some time to determine if the program will be successful, in 2006, researchers documented the first successful native birth of lynx kittens in Colorado since 1999.