Meet Elva and Cai – a pair once indigenous to Cumbria
It is a fantastic feeling to have a species that roamed free in these parts hundreds of years ago.
Our two European Lynx brothers were born at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in May 2011 and named Ruslan and Sacha. This species is native to Russia, Central Asia and Western Europe, often found in European and Siberian forests. It is sadly 300 years since they were native to the Cumbrian terrain.
When the brothers moved to the Lake District Wildlife Park in 2012, we renamed them to reflect their indigenous origins. They are now called Elva, named after Elva Plain Stone Circle, which lies on the southern slope of Elva Hill and Caermote (Known to the keepers as Cai) who was named after a Roman Auxiliary fort north of Bassenthwaite Lake.
This is the largest of the Lynx species, ranging in length from 80 to 130 cm and standing about 70cm at the shoulder. Males usually weigh 18 – 30 kg and females weigh 8 – 21 kg. They are carnivores and in their natural habitat, feed on deer, goats and sheep, also preying on smaller animals like rabbits, hares, rodents and foxes.
Stealthy and secretive you’ll find our enclosure has lots of places for them to hide out – but you will often see Elva sitting on top of his cave surveying the land.
The Northern Eurasian Lynx is the largest of the four species and is the most widespread.