NORTHUMBERLAND is set to become home to one of the world's most beautiful big cats next month.

Northumberland Country Zoo, near Felton, is set to welcome two snow female snow leopard cubs, re-homing them in a spacious, purpose-built enclosure.

The cats will roam around and be looked after by a team of specially trained keepers.

The zoo near Felton will be the first and only place in the north east to boast snow leopards as part of its collection.

The cubs are travelling from Scotland’s RZSS Highlands Wildlife Park, will arrive at the beginning of November.

Northumberland Zoo plans to close for a week following their arrival to allow the young cats to settle and acclimatise to their new surroundings before holding an exclusive, snow leopard-themed public reopening ceremony on the weekend of November 7.

Tickets will be on sale soon for the special weekend, with Northumberland Zoo promising two unforgettable days of education and fun for the entire family.

Those that do visit will not only get a tantalizing first look at the magnificent cats in their brand-new enclosure, they will also be treated to snow leopard related goodies and Covid-19 compliant animal face painting for children.

A percentage of the weekend takings will be donated towards the vital conservation projects that are carried out by the Snow Leopard Trust in the cats’ native range.

The zoo's Maxine Bradley shared hers and her team’s excitement at the zoo’s newest arrivals.

She said: “We’re so excited to welcome the young cats to the family, their arrival signals yet another new chapter for Northumberland Zoo, as we strive to be one of the most exciting, conservation-focused attractions in the region.

"Snow leopards are renowned for being highly elusive in the wild, so we’re truly privileged to have them here, offering the public an unprecedented chance to get up close and learn more about these beautiful creatures.

“The cats’ arrivals represent a fantastic boost for the region at a time when good news isn’t so forthcoming; we can’t wait to welcome visitors in to see them!”

Keith Gilchrist, animal collections manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said: "It has been an incredible year watching our snow leopard cubs grow and they will be missed by everyone here at the park.

"They are and continue to be an incredible ambassador for their relatives in the wild."

Tickets for the special weekend will go on sale week commencing November 2.