Dartmoor Zoo celebrates as runaway lynx Flaviu becomes dad to adorable new kits

Carpathian Lynx's Flaviu and Emily
-Credit: (Image: Kira Butters)

Flaviu, the notorious Carpathian lynx who once escaped Dartmoor Zoo and spent three weeks in the wild, is now a proud father of two kits. His mate Emily arrived from Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany on February 27, and after a successful introduction, the pair have been inseparable.

The birth of the two kits was confirmed at the zoo on May 29, with squeaks heard from their cubbing den. The young lynxes are beginning to explore their surroundings but will not be visible to the public for some time as they adjust to their new environment.

Madeleine Millin, the Animal Manager at Dartmoor Zoo, expressed her joy at the new arrivals: "Everyone at Dartmoor Zoo is elated at our newest arrivals. The keeper team will be monitoring Emily and Flaviu's behaviour and welfare during this time while ensuring the parents and kits have space to adjust, explore and to feel safe and calm in their environment."

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She added: "The enclosure will remain off show to the public until further notice, so although they may be visible, we ask guests to remain calm and quiet around their enclosure until further notice."

Kits are born blind and with their ears folded, heavily relying upon their parents until they begin to explore their environments after around a month, reports DevonLive.

A file pic of Carpathian Lynx kits
A file pic of Carpathian Lynx kits -Credit:Submitted

David Gibson, the CEO, expressed his joy at the news: "We are absolutely thrilled with the birth of our Carpathian Lynx kits. This species is under severe threat across much of its home range in central Europe, so every captive born individual is extremely important for the future survival of the species. Our keepers will be monitoring both mum and kits closely over the next few weeks."

Emily and Flaviu are representatives of the Carpathian Lynx, a subspecies of the largest of four Eurasian Lynx species. Their population is primarily spread across Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine, with scattered presence in Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Given that this species' population ranges between 2,100 to 2,400, breeding and reintroduction programmes within zoos are deemed essential for stabilising and boosting these numbers.