Wild Ireland has announced the death of one of its most popular animals, its male arctic fox.
The popular wildlife sanctuary in Burnfoot has become a haven for animal lovers with its natural setting acting as a home to many species including brown bears and wolves.
The centre is run by former solicitor and animal-lover and convervationist Killian McLaughlin.
The arctic foxes are a huge attraction for visiters to the centre and were a centre-piece during their Wild Arctic experience at Christmas.
A spokesperson said the arctic fox had passed away on Thursday last.
They said “It’s with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our beloved male arctic fox. On Thursday morning, he had an intense seizure and was immediately taken to the veterinary hospital.
“Despite the best efforts of the veterinary team, he had several more seizures and it was decided that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep on Friday afternoon.
“Our arctic fox was a real character and brought so much joy to everyone who visited him, especially during our Wild Arctic experience at Christmas. He was an ambassador for his relatives in the arctic and educated so many about the plight of the melting ice caps due to global warming.
“We will miss him dearly, but take comfort in the fact that he had a happy life and was loved by so many.
“His mate will also miss him, but we hope that she will find comfort in the company of the other arctic fox. Rest in peace old friend.”