Plans are being drawn up to rescue four vulnerable animals and bring them to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park - but mystery surrounds the breed being lined up.
Bosses at the high profile zoo, in Branton, have submitted a planning application for a scheme which would create a habitat for four of the animals in ancient woodlands on their site, near the current painted dogs enclosure.
But park officials have told town planners, whose approval is required for the scheme before it can go-ahead, say that they cannot reveal the species that they want to bring in.
Planning consultant for the park Diane Holgate, has told planners: "The proposal is extremely sensitive, both commercially and in the interest of the animals, and as such we are unable to share the species of animal to inhabit the enclosure, however, they require a woodland setting."
She also revealed that the anim
als would be behind 3m high fencing, and an electric fence.
The animals diet is a mix of meat, fruit and vegetables and waste will be removed daily. The enclosure will be managed similarly to the adjacent Hunting Dog enclosure and other carnivorous animals.
She added: "The need for the enclosure
is based on a rescue project. The animals that will be rescued are currently housed in poor conditions, they have poor muscle mass as such the enclosure has been designed as a ‘retirement’ home for them as YWP do not envisage them to be destructive which is reflected in the reduced scaling of perimeter fencing in comparison with similarly styled reserves.
"The animals are in significant need of re-housing for welfare purposes and require a woodland location."
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park declined to comment further on the plans.
It would not be the first time the Yorkshire Wildlife Park has launched a rescue mission for animals living in poor conditions.
A pride of lions were rescued from a Romanian zoo in 2010.
The park launched an appeal to raise £150,000 to rescue the lions from Oradea Zoo in Romania, where they were kept in cramped conditions. Following Romania's entry into the EU the zoo would have had to carry out major repairs which it could not afford. If the pride had not have been rescued they faced being put down. They are now one of the most popular attractions at the park.