THE female Iberian lynx Aura has died at the age of 20, making her the longest-lived Iberian lynx specimen on record to date.

According to the conservation programme, the wild cat, which had been in the Iberian Lynx Observatory at the El Acebuche centre in Doñana National Park since 2018, died on October 27.

When Aura was born in 2002, the Iberian lynx was in a critical situation, with only 94 animals located in Andalucia.

Fortunately, after 20 years of captive breeding programs and the creation of different nuclei, the population has increased more than tenfold.

The species’ numbers in Spain and Portugal has now passed the 1,000-mark, with the population reaching 1,300 including both adults and cubs.

According to those in charge of the captive breeding programs, Aura’s genes, through the offspring of her offspring, have been passed on from one generation to the next, to some 900 specimens (captive and wild).

It is hoped that her longevity gene has carried through too.

In the wild, an Iberian Lynx can live up to 13 years.

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