- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Colorado wildlife managers say a rare lynx that was found dead just days after creating a stir on social media died of natural causes after a relatively long life of 11 years.

The cat had wandered across the Purgatory Ski Resort during the holidays, captivating skiers and snowboarders who posted videos online.

It was found dead at the ski area on Jan. 8. Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Wednesday that veterinarians determined it had throat cancer, and the tumor kept it from eating.

Lynx virtually disappeared from Colorado by the 1970s, but the state began reintroducing them in 1999. They’re protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The lynx that died had an identity chip indicating it was born in 2005 to a cat that had been reintroduced to the state.

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