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Greater Vancouver Zoo forced to euthanize rescued lynx after cancer diagnosis

Papa the lynx had to be put down after he failed to respond to cancer treatment. Greater Vancouver Zoo

Staff at the Greater Vancouver Zoo are mourning the loss of one of their lynxes this morning.

Officials at the Aldergrove Zoo say ‘Papa’, the zoo’s eldest lynx, was euthanized after he developed cancer.

The vet says Papa was having difficulty breathing and couldn’t swallow. They first discovered the cancer in February, but he didn’t respond to treatment.

Papa first came to the zoo in 2000 after being rescued in poor condition from a private collector. He passed away on Thursday at the age of 19. The average lifespan of a lynx is 15 years in captivity and likely much shorter in the wild.

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 (Govt of US 2007a, IUCN 2007).”

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