THERE was speculation today that the wild lynx, a predatory member of the cat family roughly the size of an Alsatian dog, might be re-introduced to the Yorkshire Dales - thanks to an edict from the European Union.
For many years, scientists thought the last lynx died out some 2,000 years ago but carbon-dating of bones found in Dales caves a century ago, but never examined in depth until now, show that is was still in existence in the sixth century.
And this means that under the EU Habitats and Species rules, it should be re-introduced.
The carbon-dating of the bones was commissioned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Anyone seeking more information should log onto www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/jqs
The re-introduction of species like wolves and bears in various parts of the EU has been causing growing controversy for some years. For a deeper look, see our Week in the country column, Fancy a bear in your backyard?