Escaped Eurasian lynx sightings in Wales investigated

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Media captionLynx at Borth Wild Animal Kingdom similar to the one that has gone missing

A lynx which escaped from a wildlife park in Ceredigion may have been spotted in the area, police have said.

The Eurasian lynx, about twice the size of a domestic cat, escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom, near Aberystwyth.

A police helicopter saw what was believed to be the lynx on a nearby hill on Sunday and there was a further sighting in the area later that night.

Sgt Gareth Cross, from Dyfed-Powys Police, said there was not a “general danger” to the public.

Police said they have been told the lynx, called Lilleth, went missing some time during the past five days.

Tracy Tweedy, one of the zoo’s owners, told BBC Wales’ Good Morning Wales programme they only found out the lynx had definitely gone missing on Sunday.

She said the animal was last seen eating on Tuesday and was believed to have been seen hiding in bushes in the enclosure on Thursday.

“She’s done this before, hidden herself away when she’s been slightly injured, and when she’s feeling better she comes out,” Mrs Tweedy said.

“On Friday and Saturday we were filming to see if we could spot her and and when we couldn’t spot her on film we thought the worst, that she had died.”

Image copyright Robert Lamb/Geograph
Image caption The Eurasian lynx is roughly twice the size of a domestic cat

Mrs Tweedy said the other lynx were taken out of the enclosure for a search to take place and it was then discovered the animal was missing.

She said their keepers would continue the hunt on Monday by putting out bait traps and the park previously said it had “fully-trained keepers on hand to deal with the situation”.

Sgt Cross said they intended to send the police helicopter out again to continue the search.

“We believe it may have been seen after it was reported to us yesterday [Sunday] evening… so we are still exploring that sighting,” he said

A park official said lynx can travel about 12 miles (19km) a day, but Sgt Cross told BBC Breakfast they believe the lynx could still be in “relative close proximity” to the animal park.

He said: “The animal was born and bred in captivity and we believe it could have been seen nearby the park last night so our working theories at the moment are that this is the place it knows it can get food so it’s likely to stay in that area.”

Sgt Cross added that there was no danger to the public unless they approach or try to trap the animal.

The wild cat is described as being tan and white in colour with dark spots on her back and legs, with a thick, stubby tail which is no more than six inches long.

The park is open as normal but night tours have been cancelled until further notice.

Image caption The lynx is one of a number kept at the animalarium in Borth
Image copyright Borth Wild Animal Kingdom
Image caption The lynx went missing some time in the last five days

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