The Howell Nature Center is hosting a rare lynx that was captured over the weekend in Sanilac County.

On Monday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources transferred the Canada Lynx to the Howell Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. The lynx was trapped in Harbor Beach on Sunday. The center says that isn’t far from where a lynx was recently confirmed on video in February. The Canada Lynx is classified as a threatened species in Michigan with only rare sightings occurring in the last 40 years, primarily in the Upper Peninsula.

According to a DNR representative, this is the first live lynx captured in the state. Center officials say they are allowing the lynx to settle, “after a stressful few days.” They add that while it was caught in a leg-hold trap, no limp has been observed but that a full physical examination under anesthesia will be performed soon. It is not yet clear if the lynx is a released or escaped illegal pet or is in fact, truly wild. After physical and behavioral assessments are performed, a determination will be made if it can be released back to the wild.

According to the DNR, this would likely take place in the Upper Peninsula as Michigan’s Thumb area is poor habitat for an animal who prefers a large territory of dense conifer or boreal forests. (JK)