A lynx pauses along a fence in this file photo. Francine van der Schoot recently reported a lynx sighting near her Courtenay home. (Black Press file photo)

A lynx pauses along a fence in this file photo. Francine van der Schoot recently reported a lynx sighting near her Courtenay home. (Black Press file photo)

Unconfirmed lynx spotting in Courtenay

“I thought it was a lynx and then I looked it up online (to confirm) - it was really beautiful.”

A Comox Valley woman is crediting her luck and good timing with wildlife spotting to a recent encounter with a rare wild feline generally not known to be found on Vancouver Island.

On Oct. 13 around 11:30 a.m., Francine van der Schoot looked out of the kitchen of her home in the Southpoint development in Crown Isle in Courtenay where she spotted what she thought looked like a lynx.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought for a moment it was a baby cougar, but it had a smaller, more rounded face and really long, slender legs. I thought it was a lynx and then I looked it up online (to confirm) – it was really beautiful.”

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Van der Schoot describes the animal as about four times the size of a fat domestic cat that was “all legs with a cat face but small ears. It was a beautiful creature.”

She called the Conservation Officer Services (COS) line to report the sighting but chalks it up to good luck.

“I’ve been very lucky with animals; I’ve been close to dolphins and a grey whale near the Powell River ferry. This was an added thrill.”

COS did confirm the report, however, it is listed as an unconfirmed sighting.

Vanessa Isnardy, WildSafeBC provincial co-ordinator notes both lynx and bobcats are not known to have populations on Vancouver Island and adds the sighting would need to be verified.

Lynx generally prefer deep forested areas and within the province occupy habitats away from the coastal region.

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