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Staff at Newquay Zoo are happy celebrating a first for the Zoo – two Carpathian lynx have been born.

The kittens were born earlier this month to parents Willow and Boomer, and are now venturing out of their hideaway, to the delight of visitors.

John Meek, Animal Collection Manager said; ‘‘This is the first successful rearing of Carpathian lynx at Newquay Zoo – and we are thrilled that we have provided these beautiful animals with an environment in which they are happy and can breed and raise young successfully. The two kittens are adorable and very playful, coming out of their den more and more each day.’’

Willow and Boomer arrived at Newquay Zoo in 2009, and it was always the hope that they would be the start of a new breeding programme. Carpathian lynx have been given a ‘Vulnerable’ status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, highlighting the need for international breeding programmes and protection in the wild.

Stewart Muir, Zoo Director, explains; ‘‘The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive list on the global conservation status of animal and plant species. Based on an objective system, the list is used to assess the risk of extinction for a species. An animal declared as ‘Vulnerable’ on this list faces a high risk of extinction in the wild within the next 100 years. Therefore it is paramount to the survival of these animals that zoos worldwide contribute towards the captive population.’’

Lynx were once common throughout Europe, but are now extinct in some areas. They are now threatened by the destruction of their remaining habitat. Whilst the Carpathian mountain range is a popular eco-tourism destination, lack of financial resources to back up existing legislation means that the area does suffer from illegal logging. Efforts have been made to reintroduce Carpathian lynx to some areas and for now this has proved successful.
 

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