Friday, December 4, 2015

The Eurasian Lynx

While a lot of cryptozoology is focused on wild men, sea monsters and various bizarre creatures, a portion of it encompasses out of place animals.  A subset of that is big cat sightings of which there are thousands each year.  These reports are centered on large cats encountered in places where they are believed extinct or indeed, purportedly never existed at all.

In the UK, it's common opinion is that the lynx has long been extinct, yet year after year, there are sightings of the animals around the country.  Many of these accounts have been debunked as hoaxes or misidentifications, but there are a few of the 2,000 or so that are recorded every year that escape easy explanation.

Take this example from the October issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine:

"I'll never forget the early hours of a chilly October day in 2007, when I was driving home via some country lands on the outskirts of Nottingham.  A lynx ran straight out in front of our car and we only narrowly avoided hitting it.  We pulled over briefly in a state of shock to see the animal disappearing through a hedgerow and out of view into the fields. 
We have absolutely no doubt about what we saw.  Predictably some people believed us while most were more skeptical, but we knew we'd seen a lynx.  If predators like this are living successfully in the British countryside, how do they manage to remain so elusive?"
-Louise Crosbye of Lincolnshire

The Eurasian lynx disappeared from the UK roughly 1,300 years ago. However, the Lynx UK Trust believe they could be part of Britain's wildlife once again. They are carefully assessing reintroduction sites that would be suitable for the cats and the native wildlife, but also for local residents and livestock farmers.

Perhaps the animal is already there?

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