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Drone used to search for escaped lynx

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Image copyright Borth Wild Animal Kingdom
Image caption The lynx usually lives at the zoo with her brother

A heat-seeking drone is being used to hunt a lynx which went missing from a zoo more than a week ago.

Lilleth the Eurasian lynx escaped from her enclosure at Borth Wild Animal Kingdom near Aberystwyth.

The drone has a specialist night scope and thermal cameras which zoo staff searching for her hope will help pinpoint her location.

So far Lilleth has evaded police helicopters, tracking devices and traps.

Staff said the lynx’s brother Tyrion, who also lives at the zoo, has been pining for her every night and calling out to her.

The zoo will remain closed while the search continues.

Zoo owner Tracy Tweedy, 46, said: “The hunt for Lilleth continues and every day we are getting closer and closer.

“We have been working day and night towards recovering her safely and we are building up an accurate map of her movements around the zoo.

“We have built lots of large bait traps in situ around the grounds and have spotters out looking for her at all times.

“She is very hard to follow as some of the terrain is almost impassable for people and it’s quite easy for her to slip by unseen.

“We have even been following her after dark using night scopes and a thermal imaging camera on a high flying drone.”

Image copyright Borth Wild Animal Kingdom
Image caption A photograph taken by a night vision camera showed Lilleth standing next to a cage baited with food

Ceredigion council said it was working closely with the Welsh Government and Dyfed-Powys Police and that “every possible measure is being considered in relation to the capture of the animal”.

“The emphasis has been on inciting it into one of a number of cages and professional advice will be sought to ensure that this is being done in such a manner so as to have maximum effect,” a council spokesman said.

When the animal is recaptured, he said advice will be sought as to “the most appropriate measures for its future”.

He said the council will be carrying out an inspection of the zoo “in the presence of an approved veterinary surgeon who specialises in the cat family”.

Dyfed-Powys Police has said the lynx could become aggressive if it is cornered and is urging the public to be vigilant.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-41884226

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