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Beale Wildlife park introduces new lynx and guanacos to save species from extinction



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Beale Park in Pangbourne has introduced new members to its animal family in a bid to save two species currently under threat.

Habitat loss has led to “severe” threat on both the lynx and guanacos, with the latter also facing competition with other grazing animals.

One of the park's star animals, a two-year-old male lynx named Finn, is part of a species that was once a common large cat in Europe but has since become extinct in some areas.

Loxx, the female lynx, settling into new home at Beale Park.
Loxx, the female lynx, settling into new home at Beale Park.

He has now been joined by a two-year-old female lynx called Lox, who has been "settling in really quickly".

Assistant head of living collections Chris Lusby said: "She is doing really well. She is still really shy. Finn is following her around, she's been playing with him and they'll sit next to each other...well not next to each other but at a close enough distance of each other."

He said that the public have enjoyed seeing Lox roam around, lining up to look out for her and hopes that she and Finn will bring some more Lynx into the world and the park.

The new guacnaco friends are enjoying their new home...and park visitors are enjoying them!
The new guacnaco friends are enjoying their new home...and park visitors are enjoying them!

Beale Park has said that this makes the pair part of a significant European breeding programme.

It stated: “The hope is that Lox and Finn will contribute to the efforts to boost lynx populations while work is being carried out on habitats in their native countries to create suitable environments for the rewilding of future generations.”

Living collection manager for Beale Wildlife Park Paul Betchley added: “Our lynx couple are settling in well together and we are about to start work on a new state-of-the-art enclosure that offers top grade living accommodation while also boosting the interaction with visitors."

The new enclosure, which the park hopes will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, paddock for these animals, will offer up enough space for both Lynx to roam, with trees for them to climb.

Finn, the male lynx seems happy to have a new friend and has been following her around the enclosure.
Finn, the male lynx seems happy to have a new friend and has been following her around the enclosure.

Mr Lusby said: "Now we have got two lynx, hopefully to be more than two lynx, they'll have a bigger enclosure, in a different part of the park.

"It's pretty impressive. Lox loves climbing up trees, she'll go up there for hours. The public will be able to see her while she is up in the trees."

Additional members joining the Beale Park family are four female guanacos and one male guanaco son.

The new additions to the park have been received well by visitors.
The new additions to the park have been received well by visitors.

Guanacos, South American members of the camel family, have suffered a “substantial decline” and have now been considered an endangered species by the governments of Peru, Paraguay and Bolivia.

One of the five new arrivals is reported to be one of the “only breeding females in a UK zoo”.

Mr Lusby said: "A couple of weeks ago, we went to pick up some guanacos, four females and one male.

Paul Betchley enjoying time with the new members to the Beale Park family.
Paul Betchley enjoying time with the new members to the Beale Park family.

"Unfortunately he is the castrated son of one of the females but he’s welcome to stick around."

He added: "They are doing really, really good, there has been no problems with them. They went straight from the trailer into the paddock and it's like they have been here their whole life."

Beale Park has said that once a breeding male is sourced, it will be the only place that the public can meet baby guanacos.

Mr Bletchley added: “Our female guanacos include Gracie, who was hand-reared, and is about as affectionate as they come.

Loxx, the lynx is settling well into her new home.
Loxx, the lynx is settling well into her new home.

"We are delighted to welcome these majestic camelids to the park, and are excited about the prospect of contributing to the conservation effort.

“We are delighted to be playing our part in protecting these beautiful animals, and providing an exceptional home for them at the park, while supporting the conservation of their habitats in the wild.”

The park will be open to all members of the public from February 15 and will remain open permanently.



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