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Wild dogs kill 16 animals at safari park after escaping from compound

Six Persian fallow deer and ten Barbary sheep were killed Credit: PA Images

Sixteen animals have been killed at West Midland Safari Park after a pack of African wild dogs escaped from their compound due to damage caused by Storm Ciara.

Staff at the safari park say they are "extremely saddened" by the loss of six Persian fallow deer and ten Barbary sheep last weekend.

A spokeswoman for the safari park said that the 12 wild dogs were able to enter a neighbouring compound in the early hours of last Sunday (February 9) as Storm Ciara arrived in the Midlands, bringing gales up to 80mph.

"At no point was there a risk to public safety and there was no danger of any animals escaping the park's perimeter fencing. The wild dogs entered the neighbouring compound through a gated entrance which had been damaged in the storm which hit Worcestershire earlier that morning. Given their personal attachment to our animals, our staff are extremely saddened by the incident."

– West Midland Safari Park spokeswoman
The wilds dogs were returned to their compound unharmed Credit: PA Images

She added that the wilds dogs were returned to their compound unharmed.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the African wild dog is "one of the world's most endangered mammals", with only about 1,400 left in the wild.

They gather in packs, hunting species such as gazelles and they can reach speeds of more than 44mph.

Severe weather warnings across the country have been given by the Met Office for the weekend thanks to the arrival of Storm Dennis, with the Midlands set to face heavy rain.

Commenting on these weather warnings, the park spokeswoman said:

"We are aware of the current weather warnings in place for this weekend and will monitor this closely, making our decisions, as always, in the best interests of our animals and public safety."

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