We've seen them flawlessly chase down their favourite hopping prey, but when it comes to hunts of the arboreal variety, lynx can look decidedly less graceful. Case in point: this attempt at snatching a squirrel up in the treetops of Drayton Valley in Alberta, Canada.

Despite the cat's (rather precarious-looking) leaps between branches, the squirrel easily outmanoeuvres its feline foe (though we can't tell you how things ended once the lynx got those well-padded paws back on solid ground).

Local resident Ken Nicholson, who caught the cat-and-mouse chase on camera after spotting one lynx crossing a rural road, told CBC News that there were actually two individuals, most likely juveniles, in the vicinity. After grabbing his camera, Nicholson heard the animal by the roadside vocalise, and just moments later, he spotted the second cat up in the branches.  

"I've seen a lot of neat things out here but I've never seen anything remotely close to a lynx in a tree. It's a young cat. It was just going about trying to find something to eat the hard way," he said, chalking up the clumsy attempt at dinner to inexperience. 

"They were just young ones trying to find food and obviously they didn't have that much practice at it."

While Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) are known as specialist hunters of snowshoe hares, they won't pass up the occasional red squirrel, or some other small mammal or bird (the cats will sometimes try their luck with larger prey like caribou, too). And while this treetop venture looked pretty clumsy, their retractable claws and powerful forelimbs make lynx efficient climbers. Still, the tuft-eared predators look far more comfortable hunting with all four paws on the snowy ground: 



Top header image: Mike Myers/Flickr