A Cornish zoo has recently introduced a new male Carpathian lynx to resident female Kicsi, and sparks have already been flying.

Kicsi, who has been at Newquay Zoo since 2015, is notoriously shy.

But since male lynx Onyx joined her, both big cats have been very visible – first sussing each other out, and then spending most of their time playing and relaxing together.

New Carpathian lynx Onyx settles in at Newquay Zoo and makes fast friends with female lynx Kics ( )

A spokesperson for Newquay Zoo said: “What’s even more exciting, is that less than a month since Onyx arrived staff have already witnessed the pair mating.

“This is great news, as the pair are part of a breeding programme that aims to reintroduce Carpathian lynx into their natural habitat of the Carpathian mountain ranges of Europe.”

The species can be found in the dense forests of Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bulgaria. While their population as a whole is stable, Carpathian lynx are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and fragmentation of forests, as well as poaching. 

Carpathian lynx have a gestation period of between two and two-and-a-half months, and give birth to up to four kittens at a time. Keepers at the zoo are keeping their fingers crossed for the possibility of new arrivals later this year.

John Meek, curator of plants and animals at Newquay Zoo, added: “We are so pleased to see how well Kicsi and Onyx are getting on. Kicsi was paired with our former male lynx, Boomer, for many years, and was a great mum to four kittens, who have all gone on to join other collections. We hope that this pairing will be just as successful.”

Onyx is not the only new arrival at Newquay this month.

The zoo is now home to a group of four pied tamarins, which are tiny monkeys with black, hairless faces.

Newquay Zoo is now home to a group of Critically Endangered pied tamarins ( )

Pied tamarins are only found in one area of Brazil and are classed as Critically Endangered in the wild.

Newquay Zoo also hopes to breed these pied tamarins to help boost numbers of the species worldwide.

The attraction is part of Wild Planet Trust, a charity dedicated to helping halt species decline.