Aldergrove zoo puts down Eurasian lynx

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has euthanized an elderly lynx that was given up as someone’s pet.

Papa, the Eurasian lynx, was put down April 3 after a few months of illness.

“The decision to euthanize was based on Papa’s difficulty breathing and inability to swallow,” according to manager Jody Henderson. “Biopsy results of a mass in the nasal cavity confirmed adenocarcinoma [cancer].”

Staff first noticed discharged from Papa’s nose in early February.

He was treated with several different antibiotics, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatorys with no positive results.

“We felt his quality of life was not acceptable any more,” she said.

Papa was approximately 19 years old and the median life expectancy for Eurasian lynx is 15 years.

“It is always extremely difficult losing a member of our zoo family. Papa will be missed dearly by those who cared for him and those who connected with him through their visits to the zoo,” she said.

The zoo has rescued numerous exotic animals over the years including Papa, who was rescued from a private owner back in 2000 in poor condition.

After months of continual care Papa was nursed back to a health.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo does not encourage individuals to keep exotic animals such as a lynx for a pet. Lynx are typically skittish, very private and solitary animals, in addition to having specialized needs which the average person is not familiar with.

Eurasian lynx are listed as “least concern” conservation status by the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) Red List. They are currently found in 46 countries in Europe, northern Asia and the Middle East.

Illegal skin trade remains the leading threat to the species, together with habitat loss and prey base depletion, according to the U.S. government.

In December the zoo decided it had to euthanize Sweetie, an 18-year-old tiger which was ill. It too was had lived longer than its cousins in the wild.

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