Lucky, a 4-year-old male lynx, was killed on Monday, May 13, when he and the deer he was chasing jumped out onto a state road and were hit by a car. Both animals were killed in the accident. The driver of the car was uninjured.
Lucky, who was orphaned as a pup, was one of the first lynx to be resettled in the wilderness of Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany. He was a year old when he was released into the Palatinate Forest in the summer of 2016.
Release was part of an EU environmental project
Not all of the animals released in the Palatinate Forest have survived. Two female pups died shortly after their release and another male left the area for the neighboring Vosges region in France.
Authorities say that at least seven pups have been born since the animals were originally released. The surviving animals have spread across large areas of the forest.
A lover and a hunter
Lucky was the first of the animals to make headlines, however. Though his first appearance in the papers was negative — he attacked a herd of sheep — he was also the first lynx in the area to become a father.
More recently he made news again by visiting the female Kiara at the Palatinate Forest Nature Park in Kaiserslautern, even disappearing into her pen.
Ultimately, it was Lucky’s penchant for hunting that led to his demise, yet his case is not unique. According to the Rhineland-Palatinate State Hunting Association, some 23,400 animals were involved in automobile accidents across the state in 2018.