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Love is in the air at Dartmoor Zoo and the new couple on the scene are Carpathian Lynxes, Flaviu and Emily, otherwise known as ‘Flavily‘.

We are all delighted to see that Flaviu and Emily have successfully pair bonded.
Emily, a 7.5-year-old arrived late February 2024 from Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany where she was born in 2016.
Flaviu is just under 10 years old and was born at Port Lympne Wildlife Park in 2014, he has been a resident at Dartmoor Zoo since July 2016.

The pair have already been observed mutually grooming and mating and our first little of kittens from the pair could be born as early June.

Conservation breeding of this species is extremely important for the future success of the species as, in the wild, their populations have been in decline for many, many years.

Mixing two members of any apex predator is always a nerve-wracking business and the team here at Dartmoor Zoo spent a considerable amount of time carefully getting the pair used to each other’s scent and presence before they were successfully physically mixed on Tuesday the 19th March 2024.

All this preparation was worthwhile as the pair immediately bonded and have been inseparable ever since.

Make sure to view the magic of this new couple in person and get your Dartmoor Zoo tickets today!

Travelling from Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany, Emily, Flaviu’s new love interest, arrived at Dartmoor Zoo on Tuesday 27th February. At 7 years old, Emily has been selected as a compatible match for Flaviu within the European Breeding Programme.

Director of Karlsruhe Zoo Prof Dr Matthias Reinschmidt commented: “We are very pleased that a very nice place has been found for this lynx bred by us as part of the studbook.”

Initial observations and health checks have been conducted and Emily seems calm, in good spirits and is settling into her new home well. These observations will continue to monitor her overall wellbeing after the move, whilst also conducting introductions between the new pair.

Emily and Flaviu are Carpathian Lynx, a subspecies of Eurasian Lynx, the largest of all 4 species. The majority of this species can be found in Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine, whilst the population in Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria is scattered.

The total number of lynxes in Europe (including Russia and Belarus) is estimated between 17 – 18000, with the Carpathian Lynx species responsible for approximately 2100 – 2400 of this population.

Lynx were once native to the UK, being hunted to extinction some 1,300 years ago. Their last stronghold is thought to have been the Scottish Highlands, although some more recent cultural references can be found from Welsh poetry as late as the 9th Century.

Lynx have been successfully reintroduced into the wild in Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia and there have been formal proposals to reintroduce Lynx into parts of the UK. Many feel that they are the most suitable large predator for reintroduction in the UK. Proponents argue that they would help to naturally control deer populations and, therefore, their reintroduction would help restore habitats, particularly forests which are currently being over-grazed by deer.

CEO David Gibson commented: “We are very excited about the arrival of Emily our new female Carpathian Lynx. Emily was born in Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany as part of the European Breeding programme for this species. She is a very beautiful cat with lovely markings, and it is wonderful to see how calm she is exploring her new home. We are hoping that she forms a breeding pair with our male Lynx, Flaviu. It’s a huge privilege for us at Dartmoor Zoo to be part of the European Lynx breeding programme. We’re extremely excited at the thought of possibly welcoming new kittens, and with your support, this can be just the beginning of many more programs we can embark on.”

Here’s How You Can Help: 

Support Wildlife Conservation: Your donations directly contribute to our conservation efforts and support breeding programmes, ensuring a future for species like Flaviu and Emily.

Raise Awareness: Help us spread the word by sharing this news. The more people who understand the importance of wildlife conservation as well as how international breeding programs can help, the bigger the impact we can make.

Learn and Visit: Come meet Flaviu and our new arrival Emily! Witness their beauty and learn about the importance of conservation efforts in ensuring the survival of their species and that of others across the world.