The noise that was made by two lynx on the side of a Maine road last week was unlike anything Daniel Wadleigh had ever heard before.

And it certainly wasn’t the sound he expected the animals themselves to be making.

“This is the first time I’ve seen lynx, let alone two together making that weird noise,” he told Boston.com.

Wadleigh spotted the two wild animals on Friday. He’d driven out to Rockwood to scout some spots for fishing over the weekend and was driving back to Jackman when he saw the lynx, which almost blended in with the road and landscape, facing off on the side of the road. At first, Wadleigh didn’t think much of it.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I think those are bobcats,’ and I kind of flew by it,” he recalled. As he drove by, he realized they were lynx and “slammed on the brakes.” He backed up his car so he was level with them and got his phone out to take pictures.

The large cats, engaged in yowling at each other, paid no attention to him.

“I was going to just take pictures, and I realized they were making that weird noise and I was like, ‘I better film this, this is interesting,’” he said.

Eventually, one of the caterwauling animals walked away. Wadleigh snapped a few photos of the remaining lynx and went on his way, later sharing the video on Facebook.

“It was an amazing experience in one of my favorite places,” he said. “I don’t think it gets much better than that.”

That's the sort of encounter that would be typical between a female lynx and a male lynx that's trying to mate with her when she's not interested, Luke Hunter, chief conservation officer for Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization said, adding that it's the sort of thing that would make sense right now, at the end of breeding season, when the window for breeding has likely closed.

"They're both in this situation where, Canada lynx are mostly solitary — they're mostly not interacting with other adults — and so there's a danger to the encounter," he said. "They're engaging in a ritualized way of trying to assess whether the other party is dangerous, whether it's a mating opportunity, because you don't want to rush in and start a fight."

One interesting moment in the video, Hunter said, was when the lynx knocked their heads together before leaping apart. "I've never actually seen that with cats in a scenario like this," he said.

That leads him to suspect that it's an encounter between a male and a female. "Just like in domestic cats, a head butt is usually an affectionate gesture," Hunter said.



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