Whipsnade Zoo is set to get tails wagging with the exciting arrival of a pack of endangered African hunting dogs in April.
And to mark their arrival, popular kids television characters Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol will be visiting on a couple of days during the school Easter holidays to welcome the dogs to their new home.
Also known as African wild dogs or painted dogs, five members of the charismatic species will be introduced to a huge new exhibit that has been built especially for them.
Initially the pack will be made up of five females, a group of sisters named Malindi, BeeBee, Brandy, Donnie and Ginger, who are relocating from Whipsnade’s sister site in London.
It is hoped that males will join in the future to form a new conservation breeding group, as part of the European Endangered Species Programme
The species scientific name, Lycaon pictus, translates to ‘painted wolf’ and refers to the animal’s white, black and brown mottled coat, the pattern of which is unique to each individual.
From a raised viewing platform visitors to Whipsnade will be able to spot the dogs’ most defining feature - their huge rounded ears, that not only help them to pick up vocal calls of pack members, but also help to keep them cool.
The PAW Patrol characters Chase and Marshall will be at Whipsnade Zoo on Saturday April 8 and Sunday April 9. Meet and greets will be held at intervals between 10.30am and 5,30pm. Sessions will be on a first come, first served basis.
Normal entry charges to Whipsnade apply, adults £21.40, children £16.60, concessions £19.55, under threes go free. Family offers are available online. To buy tickets online and to check out further information go to www.zsl.org
There is free car parking immediately outside the gates.