A SECOND rare lynx has died just days after one was shot dead by a marksman when it escaped from the same zoo.
Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in Wales is now facing calls to close after Eurasian lynx Nilly was strangled when she became twisted in a catch-pole a keeper was using.
It comes after one-year-old lynx Lillith was killed for the "safety of the public" over fears it could have attacked a human while scavenging for food.
The animal had been spotted sleeping in a closed caravan park a mile from Wild Animal Kingdom in Wales where it escaped on October 29 after hopping an electric fence.
The embattled park's owners said the zoo had "serious issues" when they took over management six months ago.
They said the lynx enclosure was "not fit for purpose" and "certainly not up to modern zoo standards".
The owners said: "Unfortunately, there seems to have been a terrible handling error where it seems she twisted in the catch-pole and became asphyxiated.
"An internal investigation is underway, and a key member of staff has been unable to work since the ordeal as they are truly devastated by what has happened.
"The authorities were notified after the incident and will be carrying out their own full investigation."
They have been slammed for having "no understanding of wild animal behaviour or welfare needs" by the Lynx UK Trust who have called for them to close.
Chief scientific adviser to the trust Dr Paul O'Donoghue said: "What if it had been Borth's crocodile that escaped? Or their two lions?
"Their leopard almost escaped a few years ago when its cage door was left open – how long are we going to let these hobby zoos run by amateurs keep operating?
"Will it take the death of a human for someone to take action?"
Zoo owner Tracy Tweedy said she was "outraged" at Ceredigion County Council for ordering the hit on Lillith.
She blasted: "I am angry – there is nothing humane about shooting a defenceless creature.
"The council is saying Lilleth went onto a populated part of the community, but that is rubbish.
“Myself and five staff went to find her, but we were told we were sabotaging the operation.
“Next day Lillith was shot dead. But lynx pose no threat to humans — they run away.”
But marksman Andrew Venables, who was contracted to kill the animal, defended the decision saying "action had to be taken".
In light of the death the zoo has been closed indefinitely.
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