Four red squirrels bred at Belfast Zoo have been released at Glenarm Forest.
Belfast Zoo first became home to red squirrels in 2012, when Taisie, Shesk and Oisin arrived at ‘red squirrel nook’, from the Glens of Antrim, with the help of the Glens Red Squirrel Group.
It was hoped that the squirrels would be sufficiently content in the nook to breed.
One kitten was born in 2013 and, in 2014, Belfast Zoo has been celebrating the arrival of six more squirrel kittens.
In anticipation of breeding success, release arrangements were drawn up by Belfast Zoo, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Northern Ireland Squirrel Forum (NISF).
Zoo curator and chairperson of the Belfast Zoo native species group, Alyn Cairns, said: “The release of four red squirrels, born at the zoo, is the culmination of ten years of planning and commitment to the cause and we are delighted to announce that the release of the squirrels went smoothly and successfully.”