Escaped wild cat accused of killing 7 sheep shot dead by marksman

A Eurasian lynx – a medium-sized wild cat – which escaped an enclosure at a Welsh wildlife sanctuary has been shot dead by marksmen recently.

The lynx was accused of killing seven sheep by the National Sheep Association (NSA) after evading authorities for nearly three weeks.

The wild cat, which is about twice the size of a domestic cat, escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom – which is located close to the Welsh coast. It is believed the cat leaped over the perimeter fence to its enclosure while climbing a tree.

Owners of the sanctuary and local authorities had been making efforts to capture the animal alive, but the lynx proved quite elusive and evaded any bait traps which had been set.

According to the NSA, the escaped lynx killed “seven sheep in one clinical attack – while traumatising several others in the flock.

Lynx, Dead Sheep
The sheep allegedly killed by the Eurasian lynx

“The NSA understands the cause of death was determined by post-mortem conducted by Welsh government officials, which was confirmed as a single bite to the neck and subsequent internal bleeding.

The NSA understands two sheep were partly eaten, while the remaining five appeared to be killed purely out of instinct, just as a domestic cat might do with prey such as mice.

Council officials allegedly issued a ‘shoot to kill order‘ once the animal entered a heavily-populated area late last week.

In a statement on social media, the wildlife sanctuary from which the wild cat escaped from said: “We made one final effort yesterday (Friday, November 10) to lay traps for her and we were out all day looking for her with catch nets, but the shocking call came in late last night that they had killed her.

“In just 24 hours they had called in marksmen who had used state-of-the-art night scopes and thermal imaging cameras to hunt her down and shoot her dead. To say we were devastated was an understatement.”

The sanctuary is currently closed as investigations are ongoing and so improvements can be made to enclosures in order to bring them up to a better standard.

The Lynx UK Trust has previously proposed releasing lynx back into the wild in the UK. However, the NSA believes this recent episode “cannot be a clearer warning of the damage lynx could do if they are released into the wild”.