The construction of a new animal enclosure suitable for “dangerous animals” has been given the go-ahead at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park.

The new enclosure will house African wild dogs, also known as painted dogs or Cape hunting dogs, an endangered species native to sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the application made to Wiltshire Council, there has been a reduced investment in the Longleat estate over the past 3 years, due to the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis affecting young families, its main client base.

It is hoped that this new attraction will help to maintain visitor numbers and support Longleat’s animal conservation work.

The African wild dogs will be kept near the entrance to the park, adjacent to a pre-existing area known as the ‘African Village’.

They are the biggest wild canines in Africa, weighing up to 36kg, and are specialised pack hunters.

The works will include the demolition of existing farm animal display structures and the creation of a public viewing area.

The enclosure will be surrounded by secure fencing that will be 2.5m high with a 500mm angled top section.