A Welsh zoo has said that it is “outraged” after the local council validated that an escaped lynx had been “humanely destroyed.”
Lilleth who is twice the size of a domestic cat went on the run for more than a week after escaping from the Borth Wild Animal Kingdom that is located in Ceredigion, near Aberystwyth on October 29.
Despite “exhaustive efforts” that have been made to recapture the young animal, Ceredigion Council said that the decision had been made after she roamed into a populated area and the amount of risk that she posed to the public became “severe.”
However, in a statement that was released on their Facebook page, the wildlife park condemned the said killing.
“We are truly devastated by the hunting and killing of Lillith last night. For the past three weeks we have been tracking and attempting to catch her in a safe way,” they posted.
“We have employed 24-hour, on-site help from expert trackers and animal recovery specialists who have been aiding us in our efforts, but she proved to be quite elusive.”
They said that the wildlife centre would be closed until further notice. However, they planned to reopen soon after inspection.
Earlier, Ceredig Davies, the Aberystwyth central councilor, shared a Facebook post stating: “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 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.”
On Friday, the council said that the zoo, which had been closed since the escape of Lillith, would be placed under scrutiny and that they would perform an inspection of the zoo later this month.
According to the BBC, staff from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom had been trying to catch the lynx after she is believed to have managed to escape by making a “giant leap” over an electrified fence.
Dean Tweedy, one of the owners of the zoo, said that the lynx was seen at around 9 pm on Monday, on the same hill where she was seen on Sunday night. It was also said that the lynx could also be heard calling in the early hours. Despite this, various traps failed to capture her.
Tweedy and his wife, Tracy, bought the Borth Wild Animal Kingdom for £625,000 zoo a year ago.