A wolf that escaped in West Berkshire, leading to a school being locked down, has been recaptured, police have said.
Members of the public were warned on Thursday morning after a member of the public told police they had seen the animal on the loose, having left its enclosure on Picklepythe Lane.
Thames Valley Police (TVP) reported, shortly after 1.30pm, that the animal had been recaptured.
The wolf, was one of 10 kept at UK Wolf Conservation Trust (UWCT), based in Butlers Farm.
Strong winds are understood to have brought down fencing, leading to the wolf’s escape.
TVP said officers “have sight of the wolf and are working with staff from the sanctuary to detain it” and urged members of the public not to approach the animal if they see it.
Officers were spotted this morning outside Beenham School to make sure pupils arrived safely, the Mirror reported.
“Schools in the immediate vicinity should keep pupils inside while this is ongoing,” TVP said in a later statement.
The BBC said the wolf had been spotted at various locations including Upper Bucklebury and most recently near Curridge, more than 10 miles to the west of the sanctuary, and a helicopter was being used to track it.
The sanctuary, which is around two miles from Bucklebury, is yet to comment on the escape.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton live in Bucklebury.
The late Roger Palmer, “a passionate lover of animals” founded the UKWCT wife Tsa, after visiting Alaska in the 1970s.
“There he encountered wolves for the first time and upon his return to the UK decided to acquire a wolf himself,” the UKWCT website notes.
Originally the sanctuary was in Dorney in Buckinghamshire, before it moved to Beenham in 1983.
Encouraged and inspired by Dr Erich Klinghammer, the founder of Wolf Park in Indiana, Roger and Tsa “were persuaded to form” the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in 1995, the website notes.
Over the past 20 years, the sanctuary has reportedly raised 18 ‘ambassador’ wolves, delivered the birth of the first European wolf in the UK since they were wiped out in 1743 and in 2011 imported the first ever Arctic wolves to the UK.
Wildlife TV presenter Anneka Svenska suggested the escaped wolf was called Mai, which according to the sanctuary’s website, is a Canadian wolf.
The police advisory prompted calls for authorities not to shoot the wolf as had happened to an escaped Eurasian lynx, in Wales, in November.