Sadie Ryan, head keeper at the Panther Ridge Conservation Center, recently welcomed a new species of exotic feline to the Loxahatchee Groves sanctuary.
Panther Ridge is pleased to announce that its newest cat is a female Carpathian lynx. The two-month-old kitten is doing well in her new home, but she still needs a name — so the staff came up with a way to let the public get involved.
Now through to the end of August, donations can be made to cast votes for one of four names on the ballot: Zsa Zsa, Portia, Jara or Sage. Each dollar donated equals one vote, with the name garnering the most votes being the winner. All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly toward the care of the 23 resident felines at Panther Ridge.
“The opportunity to help name the lynx kitten will close on Aug. 31. The winning name will be announced via our social media and a newsletter out to our mailing list,” Ryan said.
For details on the meaning of each name, and to participate in the naming process, visit https://go.rallyup.com/carpathianlynxkitten.
Carpathian lynx are characterized by long legs, a bob tail and tall ears that have conspicuous black tufts. Their thick, soft fur is more densely spotted than other sub-species of Eurasian lynx.
“In captivity, she will live to be in her late teens, early 20s. In the wild, she’d be lucky to live to reach 10 years,” Ryan explained.
The natural habitat for this species is the Carpathian Mountain range, which stretches across central and eastern Europe. Portions of the mountains are found in Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Czechia and Serbia. Poaching and fragmentation of habitat lands remain significant challenges for the lynx in the wild.
“This Carpathian lynx kitten will be available for meet and greets in the future,” Ryan said. “We are planning on finding her a companion, so it’s a possibility that she will be part of a breeding program to help conserve her species in future.”
Also new to the sanctuary is the female African leopard cub Scarlet. She arrived earlier this year.
“Scarlet is doing fantastic! She loves going on daily walks around the property with her caretakers and jumping around her enclosure to show off for tour guests,” Ryan said.
A nonprofit organization, Panther Ridge, located at 2143 D Road in Loxahatchee Groves, is open to all ages, and tours are available by reservation seven days a week. Call (561) 795-8914 or visit www.pantherridge.org for more information on programs, as well as volunteer or internship opportunities.