Lynx cubs at Cumbrian wildlife park killed by their dad
By Pam McClounie
Last updated at 14:08, Monday, 19 October 2009
Two Canadian lynx cubs have been killed by their father – and another cub suffered serious injuries to her leg after a rough play session.
The lynx cubs
The cubs, who lived at Trotters World of Animals at Bassenthwaite, were born in May to parents Freya and Odin.
But during a scuffle the first cub died when Odin was reintroduced to the enclosure.
The keepers separated him from the family group until the remaining two cubs were stronger but disaster struck a second time.
The second cub called Lexi, who was naturally energetic, injured herself in a very rough play session and hurt her leg.
After five weeks of intensive treatment the keepers and the vet managed to save her leg and she is now walking around again with a limp.
While Lexi was being treated the third cub scratched and squeezed her way into her father’s enclosure where she was killed.
Trotters park manager Richard Robinson said: “We thought there was a very strong chance we would lose the injured cub but the feisty one was doing so well.
“We were devastated because we have worked so hard to keep them safe and healthy. Odin has been at the park for over almost a decade and the keepers had hoped to reintroduce him to the family group, but this has now been delayed until Lexi is much more independent and fully recovered.
“This has obviously been a huge learning curve for us because we have the only breeding pair in the UK.
“Having discussed the reintroduction of Odin to his family with other zoos, we felt it was safe to reintroduce him. It obviously didn’t work on this occasion but lessons have been learnt which are for the good of captive breeding and conservation.
“It is essential to further our knowledge and even tragedies like this can have a positive light for all zoos breeding other cat species in captivity.”
Without human intervention, Lexi would not have survived in the wild.
Lexi has already appeared on TV with Michaela Strachan in her new Animal Road Trip series. It was Michaela who first weighed her as a 300g cub when she was five weeks old.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org