A REPORT about the escape of an endangered species of cat from its enclosure at the Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown has been described as "sensationalised, inaccurate and unhelpful" by a senior spokesperson at the attraction.

A Eurasian lynx, which the zoo describe as being "a medium-sized cat, and not a big cat, of the panthera species", such as tiger or lion, escaped its enclosure — but moved into another one nearby.

Daemerys, an eight year old female, joined the zoo in late October from another UK zoo.

"The lynx had got out of its enclosure after our 4pm closing time — and not 3pm as reported. She moved from one enclosure to another — an adjacent enclosure about 15m away," said a spokesperson for the zoo.

"The Eurasian lynx is a really shy animal which would run away from people, rather than be aggressive. They are no danger to the public.

"To say it is a 'big' cat is wholly inaccurate, which sensationalises what actually happened and is unhelpful.

"It was secured and she stayed there until she was recaptured.

"Daemerys was calm throughout until the vet arrived. Four hours later, she was returned to her den.

“At no stage was there any opportunity for the animal to leave the confines of the zoo, nor did it represent any threat to the public or our staff."

The Isle of Wight Council was informed of what happened and they carried out an inspection of the attraction, which was already pre-arranged, a few days later, saying the zoo had followed its own animal escape policy, without any breach of the licensing agreement.

"We received no sanctions and we have launched our own internal investigation into what happened," the zoo's spokesperson added.

"We want to understand what happened to ensure all of our protocols are sound.

"The Eurasian lynx is an endangered species. We support groups who are all for rewilding the lynx, but it is not something we are involved in."