Is Britain Ready for the Return of the Big Cat?

Rewilding England’s dwindling lynx population is about more than conservation. It’s about connecting to a long-lost sense of enchantment with nature.

A Eurasian Lynx. Photo by dogrando via Flickr

Back in 2012, residents at a caravan park in the British countryside called the local authorities with an urgent concern: a lion was prowling through the woods and fields nearby. The police deployed two helicopters with infrared sensors and swept the woods, while handlers on the ground from a local zoo weeded through the forest, armed with tranquilizers. But the hunt fizzled out. What would later be known as the Essex Lion turned out to be a local woman’s pet, a big Maine Coon affectionately known as “Teddy Bear.”

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