• Switzerland's news in English
Lynx hurdles electric fence to escape Swiss animal park
The lynx is a protected species in Switzerland. File photo: Kora

Lynx hurdles electric fence to escape Swiss animal park

The Local · 17 May 2016, 11:14

Published: 17 May 2016 11:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The animal had been brought to animal shelter La Garenne to have a tracking collar put on it, and was being held in an enclosure where two captive lynx had previously been held successfully.

But the wild lynx had no intention of hanging around.

First, it tried to leap the four-metre-high electric fence of its enclosure, falling back to the ground after receiving an electric shock, the shelter said on its Facebook page.

After several failed attempts, the lynx then forced itself between the wires of the fence, despite continued electric shocks.

“Its smaller size than an normal adult lynx allowed it to get through the wires. Normally such shocks dissuade animals from continuing,” said the shelter.

The news shocked many, who posted their sympathy for the lynx’s predicament on the shelter’s Facebook page.

“Poor animal, I expect it wasn’t hurt but must have been in a state of crazy panic to manage to escape the enclosure,” said one.

“Life, freedom, the call of the forest are stronger. Run little lynx, stay free and happy,” said another.

But the shelter stressed that it always intended to release the animal.

Speaking to The Local, Frédéric Hofmann of the canton of Vaud’s environment office said his department asked the shelter to take in the wild lynx for a few days after it was found stuck in a duck house.

The situation was “an opportunity” to put a tracking collar on the animal so they could follow its movements once released back into the wild, with a view to considering whether it could be a candidate for Switzerland’s relocation programme, he said.

There are currently around 20 lynx in the Swiss Jura, a relatively stable population.

As part of a European-wide programme to boost the number of this threatened species, Switzerland has an agreement in place to relocate some of its lynx to southern Germany, where numbers are lacking.

“We can help other populations which aren’t doing so well,” Hofmann told The Local.

“In the south of Germany in the Palatinate area there is a programme with Switzerland where we envisage relocating a maximum of ten lynx.”

Since the lynx escaped from La Garenne before a tracking collar could be put on it, Hofmann’s team doesn’t know its current whereabouts.

“Since we haven’t found it, despite looking, we don’t think that it has injuries that pose a problem for it or we would have found it,” he told The Local  

Story continues below…

“In any case we hope that all’s well.”

Normally lynx are captured for tagging by putting cage traps in areas where they are regularly sighted, he said.

Now a protected species, lynx were hunted to extinction in Switzerland by the end of the 19th century.

In the 1960s Switzerland made the decision to reintroduce lynx into the wild.

Since the first pair arrived in 1971 two lynx populations have evolved in Switzerland and remain relatively stable giving the country “a special responsibility” for the conservation of the animal, says wildlife organization Kora.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available