Three Iberian lynx cubs have been born in a nature reserve in southern Spain, officials said Friday.

The Iberian lynx is the world's most endangered cat, and the cubs were part of a breeding program in Andalusia's Donana National Park, the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

The cubs, born Wednesday, bring the total born to 27 since the program started in 2003. The ministry said another 20 cubs were expected to be born during April.

The Iberian lynx looks like a bobcat with dark fur on its ears. The World Conservation Union classifies it as the most endangered feline species, due to habitat loss, poisoning, road casualties and poaching.

The ministry plans to build a new euro5.5 million ($7.5 million) breeding compound in Zarza de Granadilla, western Spain, the statement said.

Some 200 of the cats live wild in Andalusia and 50 more in captivity. Last week a pregnant lynx was found dead after being shot and run over.

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