A wildlife park in Wales is “devastated and outraged” over a council decision to destroy a Eurasian lynx that escaped from its facilities and straying into a populated area.
The female, which was around twice the size of a domestic cat, had been missing from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in Ceredigion since October 29.
Ceredigion Council reported the death on Saturday which the wildlife park said they in “no way agreed to or participated in”.
In a statement on its Facebook page the park said: “I would like to make it clear to everyone, however, that the decision to kill her was not ours”.
“We are truly devastated and outraged that this happened.”
The wildlife park had said the lynx, which was called Lillith and was one-and-a-half years old, did not pose a danger to humans but warned members of the public against getting too close.
There were several sighting of the cat during an operation by keepers, assisted at times by a police helicopter, to return the animal to the park around six miles from Aberystwyth.
However, Ceredigion Council said the decision had been taken to humanely destroy the wild animal after the risk it posed to the public increased “to severe” following failed attempts to recapture it.
A statement shared by Aberystwyth central councillor Ceredig Davies on Facebook said: “It is with deep regret that Ceredigion County Council reports on the humane destruction of the Eurasian Lynx that recently escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom.
This lynx has escaped from the Animalarium in #Borth, Ceredigion. No need for alarm, but follow this advice ➡️https://t.co/tL69XkwIt8 pic.twitter.com/23pn4IH3Zj — HeddluDPPolice (@DyfedPowys) October 29, 2017
“Despite exhaustive multi agency efforts to recapture the class A animal, the multi-agency group responding to the incident received additional advice late on Friday afternoon, 10 November, from a specialist veterinary surgeon that the risk to public well-being had increased from moderate to severe due to the continued failure of the Wild Animal Kingdom to recapture the Lynx.
“The safety of the public was paramount and therefore once the Lynx had strayed over to a populated area of the community it was necessary to act decisively.”
According to the park said there have never been any recorded attacks by a lynx on a human, but officials warned that they were wild animals with sharp teeth and claws and “will attack if cornered or trapped”.
Dozens of people replied to Davies’s post expressing their outrage at the decision to kill the animal.
One wrote: “Question: if it was in close enough range to be killed, why could it not have been shot with a sedative?”
Another said: “Other countries can tranquillise big cats & other wildlife, capture and move them to another location away from populated areas. Shame on Ceredigion.”
@bbcbreakfast disgusted that the poor escaped #Lynx was killed. They should have used tranquilliser dart and recaptured. #bbcbreakfast
Disgusting that the Lynx was killed, nothing to do with public safety, no human deaths ever.https://t.co/qBcvIPn63x
This is a great shame. I don’t believe that the lynx was a threat to humans. Livestock, yes, but the lynx must live. The issue, I feel, is around how it got out.
November 10, 2017
Really ANGRY. The Lynx , that escaped from the zoo in Wales has being killed. I visited this zoo, saw this animal. It was in distress. It could have been stunned and recaptured.
November 11, 2017
Mystified. How can an escaped Eurasian Lynx be a threat to human safety? And how can that merit its murder? https://t.co/Nwq9J2EPqv