Saturday, 07. December 2013 - 17:12
18. 10. 12. - 16:00
Austrian police are looking for a hunter who illegally shot a lynx that had escaped from a zoo in Salzburg and then put the body on a railway track to make it look as if the animal had been run over by a train.
Austrian media reported yesterday that the eight-year-old lynx that had escaped from the zoo in March had been discovered by railway workers after it had been apparently run over by a train.
But the director of the zoo Reinhard Pichler asked for a post-mortem to be carried out on the animal by a local vet who confirmed that the female lynx named Hera had been shot first before being dumped on the railway track.
Pichler said: "The idea that a Lynx could die after being hit by a train was completely implausible to me – once she had escaped she would almost certainly not have left the woods and certainly wouldn't have sat on a railway track waiting to be run over."
The Lynx had escaped after a rock fall around its enclosure demolished a wall.
Keepers have spent months setting up traps around the Mautern adventure Park near Salzburg in Austria without any sign of the eight-year-old female wildcat.
Officials had also warned members of the public to keep clear of the four-foot long big cat while wildlife experts, trackers, and huntsmen searched the area.
The mystery appeared to have been solved after the animal's body was recovered after it was spotted by railway workers carrying out repair work on the train track – but now police have confirmed they are looking for the person that illegally shot the animal.
The lynx is a protected animal in Europe with around 7,000 believed to be living in the wild – although there are not believed to be any living in Salzburg area despite the fact that the wooded environment offers good conditions.
The lynx - with its distinctive tufted ears - leapt a 10ft electric fence surrounding its enclosure after the avalanche left it without power.
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