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Zoo Diary: If you go down to the woods today…

on 21st September, 2021
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If you go down to the woods today…you might hear a deep purr or a growl. The sound is too loud for a Wildcat but too soft for a Bear. Look between the snow-covered rocky outcrops and needled trees and you will see two sets of huge golden eyes. Look closer still and you can see the thick silver fur that forms the coats of two beautiful Eurasian Lynx.

When you see a Lynx for the first time, the sight is breath taking. Cae and Elva are the two males that live at the Lake District Wildlife Park and they thrive in the colder months of winter. In summer they are golden-brown but moult this to a warm, thick silver-grey winter coat.

This summer Cae and Elva had a special visit from a lady called Sarah J Dodd. Sarah grew up in the north of England and now lives in Lancashire. She spent her childhood roaming the forests and mountains in her local area, which helped when writing her children’s book based on the rewilding of Lynx. “Keeper of Secrets” was published on 2nd September and follows the adventures of an eleven year old girl with a Lynx kitten. The book explores both sides of the story when it comes to releasing animals back into the wild and the different reactions of a local community. It is exciting, fast paced and an interesting read for both young and old!

Lynx like Cae and Elva would have roamed the forests and hills of Cumbria, approximately 1000 years ago. In the past the Lynx UK Trust applied for a licence to hold a trial reintroduction of Lynx back into Kielder Forest. The licence was not granted, but the Trust are working towards another application.

Maybe someday in the future as well as Beavers in our rivers, we will have Lynx back in our forests! In the meantime, Cae and Elva are beautiful reminder that these majestic animals once roamed in the wilds of Cumbria. If you are interested in reading more about the subject, we would highly recommend Sarah’s book “Keeper of Secrets”. Sarah will be visiting the lake District Wildlife Park with some copies of her book in October half term, so keep an eye on our website social media feed for more details.

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