AN Iberian lynx has been found shot dead in Doñana National Park in Huelva.

Preliminary observations of the body found floating in the Guadiamar river suggest that the feline had been shot and that it had been in the water for several days.

According to the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, the dead lynx was found and removed from the river last week by Seprona and Guardia Civil agents, and an autopsy is underway to determine the cause of death.

The find has caused uproar with members of Ecologistas en Accion who have said in a press release that the body of the lynx, which was found with gunshot wounds on the feline’s front legs and near the shoulders, was caused by hunters.

Initial observations have revealed that the wounds were made using buckshot cartridges-totally forbidden, even for hunting.

Spokesperson for Ecologistas en Accion, Juan Romero, said that the two main man-related threats faced by the Iberian lynx are road accidents and hunting, with illegal hunting accounting for 16% of unnatural deaths of the wild cat in Doñana National Park.

The conservationist group criticises that these cases are always shelved and investigations never seem to lead to prosecutions.

“Killing specimens of a protected species should not go unpunished,” the conversationalist group said in an official statement.

“Even less so in the case of species in which a lot of economic and social effort is invested, through the Life Lynx Connect fund, which is giving promising results for the recovery of the Iberian lynx.”

According to Romero there have been six recent cases of lynx being shot to death by hunters in Andalucia, the most ‘bloody’ case was in ‘Viciosa’ in Villamanrique de la Condesa (Sevilla) where a lynx was found with 30 bullet wounds.

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