The exceptional encounter of a wolf and a lynx in the heart of Europe's wild forests has been caught on camera. The video, released by the WWF, shows two of the continent's most endangered predators.
The images should be celebrated as an indisputable sign of a restored healthy and balanced ecosystem that should be further protected, WWF points out. Once on the brink of extinction, the two species have now bounced back thanks to vigorous protective measures, but they are still very vulnerable.
WWF estimates that in the whole of Poland, where video was shot, there are about 1,000 wolves and 200 lynx.
The lynx and the wolf – which are sort of wild ancestors of cats and dogs – were filmed by biologist and video-photographer Zenek Wojtasin. In a beautiful snowy landscape, in the woods of the Carpathian mountains, the two animals circle each other. Suddenly, the wolf starts running and acting in a playful manner.
"Observing wild lynx and wolves in their natural habitat is extremely difficult and rare. I often spend months in freezing conditions to see animals in nature," says Wojtasin.
"This encounter is unique as it gives us an insight into the harmony that exists in nature, where predators can live in the same habitat without harming each other. As the wolf slowly walked towards the female lynx, she arched her back to protect her kittens, as all mothers would do. It was not a fight, the wolf only wanted to play."