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Shooting escaped wolf ‘a last resort’, says wildlife park

New mother Ember was found outside the perimeter fence at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire,

A wolf has been shot dead after it escaped from a wildlife park.

Ember was discovered outside the perimeter fence at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford, Oxfordshire, at about 11am on Friday.

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Ember with her first litter pictured earlier this month (Cotswold Wildlife Park/PA)

In a statement, the park said shooting the three-year-old animal, who gave birth to five cubs earlier this year, was a “last resort”.

“She had somehow escaped her enclosure and had made her way to an area that was beyond the reach of a tranquilliser dart, and potentially within reach of a busy road,” the park said.

“The safety of our visitors, and the public, has to be our priority and our keepers were put in the unenviable position of making a decision that no animal lover should have to make.”

The park added that measures have been taken to increase security checks and thanked visitors for their co-operation.

The statement sparked concern on social media, with questions being asked about why Ember could not have been sedated, rather than killed.

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From Belfast Telegraph