(Submitted by Shania Tymchatyn/David Zalubowski/Associated Press - image credit)
Shania Tymchatyn and her boyfriend have been taking their dogs for walks every day at Yellowknife's Tin Can Hill, but after what happened Monday night, they won't be going back anytime soon.
Around 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Tymchatyn and her boyfriend Dave took their three dogs for a walk, heading toward the trail.
As usual, the dogs were off leash, sticking close to the couple.
With her boyfriend a little ahead of her, suddenly an animal appeared out of the bush and grabbed her youngest pup, Arlo.
"All I remember is falling to the ground and pulling them apart," she says.
Tymchatyn said she didn't even know what kind of animal she was pulling away from her dog.
"I remember throwing my dog to the opposite way from us, and grabbing this animal by the neck and body, managing to get myself on top of them," she said.
She remembers seeing Arlo run away, and telling her boyfriend, "Go, go get Arlo."
Some help arrives
Tymchatyn continued to cry and scream for help when a man came out of his home and asked if she was OK.
When he got closer, the man told her she was holding a lynx.
"So that was pretty frightening," she said.
She tried not to make eye contact with the animal.
My head was hurting from having such a strong grip on this lynx. - Shania Tymchatyn
"All I could think about was, 'is Arlo OK?' That's all that was in my head. I was just worried about my dog."
A few minutes later, Tymchatyn saw her boyfriend with Arlo, but they stayed back in case the lynx tried to attack again. Her boyfriend and the man warned other dog walkers to leave the area.
"By this time, it felt like it was a long time just by sitting there, and my knees were starting to get cold from being crushed in the snow, and my head was hurting from having such a strong grip on this lynx," said Tymchatyn.
Releasing the lynx
After about 20 minutes, she wasn't sure what to do; Tymchatyn was losing her grip on the lynx. The man who was helping her went back to his house to grab some lacrosse sticks.
"So [the man] blocked me just as I was letting [the lynx] go," she said.
"And thankfully, the lynx didn't do anything. He kind of ran back off into the bush."
They knew wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources were on their way, so they kept a close eye on the lynx, which was on the trail.
"So thankfully, everybody's safe. Arlo is safe. We have no bites and scratches," she said.
WATCH | Yellowknifers caught a lynx walking around town on Monday:
Never going back
Social media posts also pointed to a lynx on Yellowknife's popular Frame Lake Trail on Monday. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the lynx is still at large.
Tymchatyn said she's never going back on the Tin Can Hill trail. She and her boyfriend will be walking their dogs on the streets from now on, and on their leash.
"Oh, I'm petrified," she said.
"I know that [lynx] can come down main street, but I mean, it's better than the bush," she said.
She said she's been warned to be careful of wildlife when she's on the trail, but never thought she'd see a lynx. It was, after all, the first time she'd seen one.
"It happened so quickly," she said.
"I just want everybody to be aware of the wildlife. Keep your fur babies close to you and never let them out of sight. I'll do anything it takes to save my fur babies. So please do the same out there."