Keepers to use missing lynx's attachment to mum to trap him

Dartmoor zoo staff have taken delivery of mother lynx’s bedding and are waiting for recording of her calls as part of plan

Keepers trying to track down an escaped lynx from a Devon zoo are attempting to use the creature’s attachment to his mum to tempt him back into captivity.

Flaviu the lynx has been missing from Dartmoor zoo for five days and though staff are confident they know roughly where he is, attempts to trap him have so far failed.

The latest idea is to try to lure the two-year-old Carpathian lynx into a humane trap by placing some of his mother’s bedding in it and blaring out sound recordings of her calls.

So far the hunt for Flaviu has been a high-tech one, involving drones and night-vision cameras as well as traps baited with tasty meaty treats. There have been sightings of the creature, which is roughly the size of a labrador dog, but he has remained at large.

The animal chewed his way out of his enclosure on Thursday within hours of arriving in the south-west from an animal park in Kent, where his mother lives.

Benjamin Mee, CEO of the zoo, said staff had taken delivery of bedding from his mother’s enclosure in Kent.

Mee said: “Flaviu was very attached to his mum and we are also trying to get a recording of his mother calling out. We played a general lynx call last night and some of our younger staff thought they heard a reply.

“We are hopeful that the noises, along with the bedding, which we will place in one of the larger traps, will be enough to lure him out.”

Mee said staff will use a tranquilliser to sedate the animal once they catch up with it. The idea would then be to follow the animal until he collapsed, perhaps using a drone, so that he did not disappear into deep undergrowth, where he might not be found.

He added: “The issue with using a dart though is it can take a good 10 minutes to take effect. It’s not like in the movies, unfortunately. It would need to be a very careful operation and something we would only be able to do with the help of police drones to pinpoint his exact location.

“One thing I must remind everyone is that we will not try, at any stage, to shoot Flaviu with live firearms. He does not pose a threat.”


Steven Morris and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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