A Lynx who escaped from a wildlife park in Wales has been shot dead after it strayed into a populated area.
Despite the wildcat not posing any risk to the public the Local Council authorised the killing of Lilleth the Eurasian lynx, who was around twice the size of a domestic cat, went missing from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in Ceredigion on 29 October.
The wildlife park and the local community have been left “devastated” after the council decided against using a sedative instead they used a bullet.
The wildlife park had confirmed that the one-and-a-half year old had not posed a danger to humans and there have never been any recorded attacks by a lynx on a human, warning they were wild animals with sharp teeth and claws and “will attack if cornered or trapped”.
Releasing a Facebook Statement on Saturday a spokesperson for the Borth Wild Animal Kingdom said: “I would like to make it clear to everyone … that 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.”
The wildlife park has launched an extensive operation which was assisted by a police helicopter to return the animal to the park.
Ceredigion Council said that they had decided to humanely destroy the wild animal with lethal force as it posed an increased risk to the public after a number of 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.
“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 decision has left the local community outraged with Mr Davies’s saying “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.”