Wild Times Archive

Hello, my name is Xena!

I was born May 20, 2012, which means it’s my birthday and you’ll probably want to stop by and say happy birthday to me! I would love that. And I totally deserve all the attention. Okay, so I’ve been described as being a bit of a diva, but honestly, can you blame me? Being a (large, smart, beautiful) cat is where it’s at!

I was born at the Winnipeg Zoo but I looooove living here in Edmonton. I adore my zookeepers, especially Mia. They all work so hard to look after me, feed me, provide enrichments, and work with me so I can learn to participate in my own health care.

I love, love rabbits. Sure, guinea pigs and chicken are okay, I mean, I’m not going to turn them down, but rabbits are my fave! I like to toss my whole food in the air before I dine and bat it around a bit. Works up my appetite. *Note: the Edmonton Valley Zoo does not feed its animals live prey.

Well, there’s this mirror that hangs in my habitat. I just love to mark it with urine, make sure everybody knows it’s mine. I also like to claw my soccer ball. Sometimes the keepers give me straw covered with another animal’s scent. I get giddy and roll around in it. The best fun is when my habitat gets rearranged. I must investigate immediately.

I’ve overheard Mia telling the others that I am a DIVA! She says I have more cat-itude than any other cat here at the zoo. Excellent! Apparently though, my aloof nature makes training a wee bit challenging. I admit, I like to keep Mia on her toes, but it’s that much sweeter when I do what she asks. Watching her rejoice is delightful!

Mia is such a doll, she says I am very smart. My training behaviours are for husbandry. For example, when I stand on my hind legs Mia scans my underside; hold up a paw, she checks my pads. When the spirit moves me I open my mouth so she can check my teeth and gums. I even hop on the scale to be weighed. I am a svelte 12.5kg (27.5lbs), absolutely purr-fect for my height and fine bone structure.

I don’t want to brag or anything, but my eyesight and hearing are phenomenal. I can spot a mouse 75m (82yd) away! I can jump high, too…..really high. I ricochet off the walls, landing with poise and grace on the wooden platforms. Easy peasy.

I just adore my black, tufted ears. And, I have the cutest, little bobbed tail. Watch closely when I hunt for food my trickster keepers hide. See how my sassy tail twitches. Adorable, yes?

The Oilers sponsor my habitat through the Valley Zoo Development Society’s Adopt an Exhibit program. Seeing as Hunter, the lynx, is the Oilers mascot, I think that makes me his girlfriend.

A Note to my Human Friends

So even though Canada Lynx are considered to be of “Least Concern,” globally, some of my cat friends are locally endangered in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We are at risk because of overhunting (of us and our favourite snack, snowshoe hare), habitat loss, and climate change. Please do your part to help by reducing your carbon emissions and by purchasing paper products from companies affiliated with the Forestry Stewardship Council.