Watch a lynx chase a squirrel up a tree in Alberta

lynx YouTube/Ken Nicholson

A lynx stalking its prey is quite a rare sight, but a video taken by an Alberta man this spring showed something even rarer: a lynx stalking its prey in the branches of a tree.

Ken Nicholson was driving near Drayton Valley one morning when he saw lynx crossing the road. He was taking out his phone in the hopes of getting a video when he heard the lynx begin to vocalize. Nicholson was aware that when lynxes make sounds like this, it often means there’s another lynx nearby—and sure enough, when he looked up, he spotted it. “I looked up and there was the one cat in the tree, obviously trying to find something to eat,” Nicholson told the CBC.

The lynx soon found a target: a squirrel high up overhead. The lynx navigates the slender branches with incredible dexterity, hopping from one tree to another, but it’s no match for the squirrel, which drops from its branch to a far lower one, speeding through the treetops with ease. “The squirrel kept jumping, went on to the ground and then up another tree,” Nicholson said. “It was cat-and-mouse.”

The squirrel eventually got away. Nicholson told the CBC he’s seen plenty of lynx in the area, but never one up a tree. After the squirrel was gone, the two lynx departed together, presumably in search of food.

“They were just young ones trying to find food,” Nicholson said, “and obviously they didn’t have that much practice at it by the looks of it.”