Mammal of the Year in 2019
The Eurasian Lynx - a lonely prince in our forests
This shy and elusive feline predator can be found again at the northern, mountainous part of Hungary, which is a great success as they were considered extinct in the '80s. Finally the regal eurasian lynx has started to reconquer his territory.
Unfortunately we still can't speak of a stable population, as these specimens are mainly coming from Slovakia to our northern hills for a brief visit. Lynxes are fond of great, coherent forests so the construction of public roads in South-Slovakia disturb them immensely as it splits their natural habitat. Local environmentalists are very concerned about this species so WWF Hungary together with the Aggtelek National Park launched a lynx programme: they put radio collars on the animals in order to survey the population.
But those who want to see this regal feline don't have to travel to the North of Hungary: a few steps from Budapest two lynxes live at the Budakeszi Wildlife Park. The male, Csabi is very good-natured and easygoing so you can spot him any time resting on his lookout 'rock', he even makes eye-contact and comes closer to the bars when he is really interested. It is recommended to visit him between 15.00 and 15.30 because the feeding process is really spectacular, the keepers give him raw chicken through the bars using a long wooden spoon, and Csabi acts hilariously like a housecat, nudging the bars with his head and licking his paws and fur after eating all his portion. Unfortunately he and Rita, the female, well they don't get on well, so they live in separate kennels, but you are not likely to spot Rita as she is very shy indeed, though sometimes even she has some indoor fun with her favourite basketball.