The Missing Lynx

Flaviu the Lynx was reported missing from Dartmoor Zoological Park (near Plymouth) on July 7, triggering a search involving a police helicopter and a
drone. Tweny Five humane traps were set but all to no avail until …) He was finally caught last Saturday morning (July 30th) in a trap set by keepers.

Flaviu was trapped 200 yards from Hemerdon Plantation, a woodland about a mile away from the zoo. Apparently our lynx savaged four lambs on Friday (well, we all gotta eat!).
Realising big cats returned to the scene of a kill, the four lamb carcasses were removed from the site and a 5 foot by 2 foot mesh trap baited with veal was set right, where the lambs were found. A keeper stated that captivity is the best place for an animal such as Flaviu …as it is likely she would have been shot if continuing to attack sheep in the region.

We are Glad to say that Flaviu is now safe and sound – but we hope she enjoyed her short lived freedom.

Have to pay a visit to see the lovely creature, hey Osc?

Flaviu the Lynx has gone absent without leave… well in fact he’s escaped! The two year old male Lynx is approximately the size of a large domestic cat and is described as grey/silver in colour. He apparently chewed and clawed his way through the wall of his enclosure just hours after arriving at Dartmoor Zoological Park in Devon, last Wednesday.

When keepers realised Flaviu was gone, the zoo was evacuated and a police helicopter, tracker dogs and teams of officers and keepers spent the whole of last Thursday searching for the missing animal. Traps loaded with meat have been laid in the hope they will lure the cat back to be humanely caught and returned home. Local schools, landowners and farmers have been warned not to approach the animal.

Flaviu the Lynx just hours before he escaped
Photo: unknown

Experts said the lynx, which was raised in captivity, could still be near the zoo. George Hyde, the zoo’s operations manager, and the police tried to reassure people that the cat was unlikely to be a danger to humans. He said: “We are in a rural location, so the likelihood of the lynx coming into contact with people is very slim. The likelihood is that he is very scared, very anxious, and he will stay away from people.”

Hyde added that the lynx was fed before his journey from an animal park in Kent to Devon on Wednesday, so he is unlikely to be desperate for food. Asked if he was embarrassed to have lost a lynx, Hyde said: “It’s a challenge. Animal containment always poses the possibility that you will face a situation like this.”

Sgt Tracy Sharam, of Devon and Cornwall police, who is co-ordinating the search, said that although the lynx could already have ranged up to nine miles from the zoo, keepers had suggested it would most likely be hiding somewhere within a mile. She said: “Obviously, when you get a new cat to the house, it goes and hides for a while. It’s probably got the same sort of feelings.”

Flaviu with his mother
Photo: unknown

Keepers are planning to subdue the lynx with a tranquilliser dart once it is found before returning it to the zoo. Vets are being kept on standby in case the animal needs emergency treatment. “We don’t want to kill the animal at all – that’s not what we are looking at,” said Sharam.

Flaviu is a Carpathian lynx, also known as a Eurasian lynx which are native to the forests of Europe and Siberia where they feed on animals such as deer, hares, rabbits, rodents and grouse. The Eurasian lynx was once native to the British Isles, but was killed off around 700AD. The Lynx UK Trust is dedicated to reintroducing the predatory cat to the British countryside, but so far efforts have been blocked. Carpathian lynx are solitary and secretive animals. They are also a critically-endangered species.

Rick Minter, who has written about big cat sightings in the UK, said he thought Flaviu would have a good chance of surviving in the wild. “He will have no problem hunting for mice, rabbits, pigeons, pheasants,” he said. He also said “Flaviu would have a decent chance of finding some of his own kind already living wild. There have been sightings of lynx in the south-west of England”. It is thought the cat was spotted again by the police drone carrying a thermal imaging camera that had been assisting teams on the ground.

Lets hope that Flaviu stays free and finds cats of his own kind in the wilds of Dartmoor ….

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Daisy the Carpathian Lynx

Cat of the Month ~ June 2014

Daisy the Carpathian Lynx

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

Our cat of the month for June is Daisy, a beautiful four year old Carpathian Lynx. Daisy lives at Dudley Zoological Gardens with two other adult Lynx, Dave and Chloe in a specially made compound they have there.

And why did we pick Daisy as our special feline … (and well you may ask Norman)…. it just so happens she’s recently become a proud mum of triplets (yes three bonny bounding cubs). So well done that Feline …and not forgettign Dave too of course. The triplets, who were born on May 23, have been cosying up with mum in the specially made dens but have within the last few days started to explore the surrounding undergrowth.

…proud Mum Daisy keeps a wary eye on the camera

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

Sixteen month-old male, Dave, transferred to Dudley from Salzburg Zoo in Austria in 2012, whilst our female, Daisy (when aged two) moved from Zoo Veszprem in Hungary in the autumn of 2012. Chloe, the third lynx of the trio is the long standing resident in Dudley but she had to be temporarily moved out of her usual enclosure to make way for the new guests. It’s taken them quite a while to get used to one another but now they get along just fine. See the footage of these lovely cats and thier keeper here

Daisy at play on her new rope scratching post

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

The transfer of these lynx is part of an ongoing European breeding programme for this rare subspecies of Eurasian lynx. And it looks like they struck feline gold this time!

Success … and they don’t get much cuter than this!

Photograph: Dudley Zoological Gardens

European Lynx

Cat of the Month ~ February 2012

A European Lynx
Photograph: unknown

A lovely animal, especially his paws front and back, but it looks like lean times for our scrawny Lynx.

Ten Lynx Kitttens born in Colorado

Reported in the National Geographic news today, 29th June 2009, the discovery of ten Lynx kittens, including the young cat in the picture below, marks the first time newborn lynx have been documented in Colorado since 2006. This is very good and encouraging news for the biologists overseeing the restoration of this mountain feline in the region.

The tuft-eared cats with big, padded feet are native to Colorado, but were slowly eradicated up until the early 1970s by logging, trapping, poisoning, and development. They are listed as threatened on the U.S. endangered species list.

lynx kittens photograph

A tuft-eared Lynx kitten born in April 2009
Photograph: courtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife/AP

Biologists had found no kittens in 2007 and 2008, possibly partly because of a drop in the number of snowshoe hares, the cats’ main food sources.

This year seven male and three female kittens have been found in five dens.

More than 200 lynx from Alaska and Canada have been released in Colorado since 1999. Biologists don’t know how many lynx are currently in the state.