An exotic cat that prowled the British countryside a century ago was a non-native lynx from Canada, a new study finds.
The feline’s skeleton and mounted skin have been tucked away for years in the underground storeroom of the Bristol Museum in England. Scientists analyzed the specimen and found it to be a Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), a carnivorous animal about twice the size of a domestic cat.
This was much earlier than the supposed beginning of the big cat phenomena in the U.K. in 1976 as a result of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976. There was a 99% probability that it matches lynx, not known in the U.K. since the ninth century. This animal was reported to have been shot in Devon in the early 1900s after it killed two dogs. It was originally mounted in the museum labeled a Euroasian lynx.
VERY. INTERESTING. Where did it come from? Or does this tell us something else about species relations?
Addition: Don’t miss this write up at Tet Zoo!!
I have the original paper too… just need to find a moment to read it.