Social media users have expressed outrage after the young lynx Lillith was killed yesterday
The owners of a small zoo in Wales have said they are are "truly devastated" after an escaped lynx was shot dead yesterday.
The cat - 18-month-old Lillith - had escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom on October 29th.
There had been several sightings of the lynx, but she had managed to evade capture.
In recent weeks, Ceredigion Council had warned members of the public to avoid approaching the cat.
The zoo, meanwhile, had advised: "There have never been any recorded attacks of a Lynx on a human, but they are a wild animal with sharp teeth and claws and will attack if cornered or trapped."
Yesterday evening, a council statement published by Cllr Ceredig Davies announced: "It is with deep regret that Ceredigion County Council reports on the humane destruction of the Eurasian Lynx that recently escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom.
"The safety of the public was paramount and therefore once the Lynx had strayed over to a populated area of the community it was necessary to act decisively."
Many social media users expressed outrage over the news, with several slamming a "disgraceful excuse" for the killing.
One user described it as a "terrible end to the story".
In a statement, the zoo owners said they had "spared no expense or effort" in the search for Lillith.
They explained they had "categorically refused" to allow the cat to be hunted with live ammo, and "fought for more time to capture her alive".
Writing on Facebook, the owners said: "We made one final effort yesterday to lay traps for her and we were out all day looking for her with catch nets, but the shocking call came in late last night that they had killed her.
"To say we were devastated was an understatement."
The owners say the zoo was in a 'terrible state' when they took it over six months ago.
The park has been closed 'until further notice', but the owners say they intend to reopen after an inspection in order to give the animals "the decent home that they so richly deserve with new enclosures and better amenities".