ESCAPED lynx Lilleth has been “humanely destroyed” three weeks after escaping from a zoo in Wales – sparking outrage amongst animal lovers.
The wild cat – twice the size of a domestic feline – was shot dead by marksmen but was said to have posed no risk to humans.
The 17-month-old ‘baby’ escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in Ceredigion, Dyfed-Powys after leaping an electric fence.
And the local council said despite “exhaustive efforts” to recapture her, it received advice that the risk to public safety had “increased to severe”.
Earlier on Friday, the council said the zoo would be put under scrutiny.
A statement released by the local authority on Friday evening said the lynx had strayed over to a populated area of the community and “it was necessary to act decisively…and the safety of the the public was paramount.”
Staff at the zoo, which has been closed since Lilleth’s escape, had been attempting to catch her. There had been a number of sightings but she evaded capture and was at one point thought to be hiding in bushes near the zoo.
Ceredigion council and Dyfed-Powys Police said they had tried a “range of measures” to capture the Lynx, including baited traps.
A post-mortem examination of a sheep found dead on land near the zoo showed “traumatic injury” but experts have been unable to say if the missing lynx was responsible.
But a spokesperson for the animal park posted a statement on Facebook and 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.”