WILD LYNX IN SCOT­LAND?

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A SCOT­TISH for­est could be­come home to lynx, which were wiped out from the UK around 1,300 years ago.

Fur hunt­ing and loss of habi­tat led to their ex­tinc­tion in Bri­tain, but now a group wants to bring them back. The Lynx UK Trust says the Queen El­iz­a­beth For­est Park near Loch Lomond would be a “par­adise” for lynx. It is launch­ing a “pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion” on the plans, which gives peo­ple the chance to have their say.

Not every­one thinks it’s a good idea – in­clud­ing farm­ers. They say the an­i­mals are preda­tors who pose a threat to sheep in par­tic­u­lar. Farm­ers use the ex­am­ple of Nor­way, where they claim lynx are re­spon­si­ble for 21% of sheep at­tacks by wild an­i­mals.

The Lynx UK Trust says no at­tacks on hu­mans have ever been recorded by a healthy, wild Eurasian lynx any­where in the world. And that the typ­i­cal kill rate of farm an­i­mals across Europe is low at 0.4 sheep, per lynx, each year.

The Lynx UK Trust claims Eurasian lynx have al­ready been brought back suc­cess­fully to coun­tries in­clud­ing Ger­many, France and Switzer­land.

An ear­lier idea to re­lease lynx in Eng­land’s Kielder For­est was turned down. Scot­tish au­thor­i­ties say they have no plans to al­low lynx back to Scot­land, ei­ther.

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