MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A photographer living on the North Shore found himself in a rare Minnesota moment over the weekend.

While driving near his home in Tofte, Thomas Spence spotted a Canada Lynx on the road. Then another. And another. Before long, five lynx were cuddling in front of him.

So he grabbed his camera and captured a few shots of the rarely-seen wildcats.

“I couldn’t believe it. I still am a little floored,” he told The Duluth News Tribune. “As I was taking pictures, I was kinda laughing because I couldn’t believe it was happening.”

After the quick cuddle, the five lynx, which Spence believed to be a mother and her kittens, quickly ran off into Superior National Forest.

While lynx sightings are not uncommon in Minnesota, it’s rare to see several lynx together, the DNR says.

Canada lynx live in the boreal forests of Canada and northern Minnesota. They hunt snowshoe hairs and weigh anywhere between 20 to 45 pounds.

Mothers typically give birth in the winter to 1-5 kittens, who stay with her for about a year before venturing out on their own.

Lynx were once hunted in Minnesota for their fur, but they’ve been a protected species in the state since 1984.

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