Lynx remains missing after vandalism at Alaska Zoo

Posted: Friday, September 22, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A lynx that was among the animals released by vandals at the Alaska Zoo remained missing Friday and zoo officials said those who broke into the zoo could face federal charges.

Zoo officials were following up on several lynx sightings in South Anchorage, but were not sure if any of those spotted were Chena, the 4-year-old female who got away when vandals broke locks on about ten cages.

''We cannot harvest healthy animals so we would need to be absolutely positive that it's Chena,'' Zoo director Tex Edwards said Friday.

Chena was born in captivity and is used to being fed by humans, Edwards said. It's not known if she could live in the wild.

''We've watched her play and stalk so the wiring is there, she has the instincts,'' Edwards said. ''Our hope is that she'll get hungry and come home. We have food out.''

A short-eared owl that was released from its cage and managed to get into the yak enclosure was badly injured and died. The bird is protected by federal law.

''We're pretty upset about that,'' Edwards said. ''It's a federally protected bird. If they find out who did this, there could be federal charges.''

A deer, two foxes, another lynx and a Siberian tiger were returned to their cages without incident and the zoo was open for business Friday, Edwards said.

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