Zoo chiefs’ anger af­ter es­caped lynx is shot dead

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Lifestyle -

AN­I­MAL park bosses said last night they were ‘dev­as­tated and out­raged’ af­ter a lynx that es­caped last month was shot dead on the or­ders of coun­cil of­fi­cials.

The 18-month-old Eurasian lynx called Lil­lith had gone miss­ing from Borth Wild An­i­mal King­dom in West Wales.

Ceredi­gion Coun­cil an­nounced on Fri­day that the an­i­mal – about twice the size of a do­mes­tic cat – had been killed af­ter she ‘strayed over to a pop­u­lated area’.

But in a state­ment posted on the park’s Face­book page yes­ter­day, a spokesman said: ‘The de­ci­sion to kill her was not ours and we in no way agreed to, or par­tic­i­pated in, the shoot­ing of our baby lynx. We are truly dev­as­tated and out­raged that this hap­pened.’

An­drew Ven­ables, a marks­man who runs a local firearms train­ing school, shot the cat and said the pos­si­bil­ity of tran­quil­lis­ing it had never been con­sid­ered. ‘The very sad truth is the fact that an an­i­mal was al­lowed to es­cape in the first place and that the own­ers were un­able to catch it,’ he said.

‘Sadly, ac­tion had to be taken af­ter this farce.’

There were sev­eral sight­ings of the cat dur­ing an op­er­a­tion by keep­ers, as­sisted at times by a po­lice he­li­copter, to re­turn the an­i­mal to the park near Aberys­t­wyth.

How­ever, Ceredi­gion Coun­cil said the de­ci­sion had been taken af­ter the risk it posed increased to ‘se­vere’. Dozens of peo­ple re­sponded to the coun­cil’s state­ment, at­tack­ing it for not se­dat­ing the lynx.

One wrote: ‘Shame on Ceredi­gion.’

An­drew ven­ables and Lil­lith, be­low MARKS­MAN:

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