A lynx that escaped from a wildlife park in Wales is believed to have killed seven sheep.
The female, which is around twice the size of a domestic cat, has been missing from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in Ceredigion for more than a week.
Police helicopters have been out searching for the Lynx and have been using thermal imaging equipment to try to find her.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) has now claimed that seven sheep were killed by the lynx 'in one clinical attack, while traumatising several others in the flock'.
The NSA said that post-mortem examinations have been conducted by Welsh Government Officials, and they reveal a single bite to the neck to be responsible for the sheep deaths.
It is understood that two sheep were partly eaten, while the remaining five appeared to be killed 'purely out of instinct', acording to the NSA statement.
The location of the sheep killings has not been disclosed.
The NSA said if the lynx was responsible for the sheep being killed, it was a clear signal that reintroducing them into the wild was unwise.
Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: “There cannot be a clearer warning of the damage lynx will do if they are released into the wild.
“The risk lynx pose to sheep, and the subsequent anxiety which would be suffered by sheep farmers if they were released is clear, but NSA’s concerns reach far wider than that.
"Through their normal work, sheep farmers are continually supporting wildlife and grassland ecology and this valuable activity could be undermined if a lynx release were to go ahead.”
It is estimated that The Eurasian lynx, about twice the size of a domestic cat, can travel up to 12 miles a day, which would put Machynlleth firmly in the area that she could be found.
Ceredigion Council licensing officers closed the park “for public safety”.
Dyfed-Powys Police are advising people living in the area to be “alert” and “vigilant”.