A second lynx belonging to a zoo in Ceredigion has died, the owners have confirmed.
A statement from the zoo said a “terrible handling error” had led to the death of the second lynx, Nilly.
The Lynx UK Trust called for the zoo to be closed, saying the deaths were “unacceptable”.
“Over the past few weeks our staff have been under incredible pressure and when the authorities gave us 24-hour notice that they would be carrying out a full cat inspection we took the decision to move Nilly to a more suitable enclosure.
“Unfortunately, there seems to have been a terrible handling error where it seems she twisted in the catch-pole and became asphyxiated.”
It added than an internal investigation was under way, and a key member of staff had been unable to work since the ordeal “as they are truly devastated by what has happened”.
Paul O’Donoghue, a scientific adviser at the Lynx UK Trust, which is trying to reintroduce them in the UK, said he had visited the zoo at the weekend.
“To have two die, it’s unacceptable on every level. Serious questions need to be asked about the husbandry at this zoo,” he said.
The council said despite “exhaustive efforts” to recapture her, it was necessary to act because she strayed into a populated area and “the safety of the public was paramount”.
Lilleth is believed to have escaped after making a “giant leap” over an electrified fence.