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Northern lynx kittens paws for thought outside den

The triplets are becoming more adventurous as they tumble about their enclosure at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park.

Three northern lynx kittens have been settling into their enclosure at a wildlife park as they explore outside the den.

The triplets, born to female Dimma and male Switch on May 25, are becoming more adventurous as they tumble about their enclosure at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. It is the sixth consecutive year the pair have had kittens.

The lynx are managed as part of the coordinated European breeding programme for the species, and youngsters from previous litters have gone on to create new pairs in other collections as part of the overarching conservation and breeding programme for the northern lynx.

Una Richardson, head keeper for carnivores at the park, near Kingussie, said: “Dimma and Switch arrived at the park in 2012 and the breeding success we have seen with the pair is a real testament to the quality of the animal husbandry and the enclosure here.

“The kittens are really starting to find their feet. Visitors are already enjoying watching them play-fighting and jumping around the enclosure, primarily in the afternoon. They are very lively and we are looking forward to being able to name them once their sex has been determined.”

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The triplets were born to female Dimma and male Switch (RZSS/Sian Addison/PA)

Although the species is not endangered overall, it had become locally extinct in many areas across Europe.

Loss of habitat, reduced prey availability and illegal hunting are the biggest threats to wild lynx populations.

There have been a number of successful lynx reintroduction projects within Europe, including in Switzerland and France.

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