Visitors to a historic north-east estate have been surprised to find it is now home to animals more associated with Africa than Aberdeenshire.
A collection of elephants and giraffes have just arrived at the Castle Fraser estate near Kemnay.
The pair of giraffes and three elephants are usually found outside the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
They have packed their trunks for a safari at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) site while the outside space at the hospital undergoes construction work.
The topiary animals were provided by donations to The ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of the children’s hospital, and instead of placing the animals into storage, ARCHIE approached the NTS to see if they could find a temporary home where visitors could still enjoy them.
The creatures have been placed in the woodland garden at Castle Fraser and have created a fun feature for families out exploring over the festive period and beyond.
NTS general manager for the north-east, Iain Hawkins, said: “We’re very excited to welcome these beautifully designed topiary animals to our stunning grounds at Castle Fraser.
“They have brought lots of happiness to children and families at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and we hope that families have fun tracking them down during their visit.”
Chief executive of The ARCHIE Foundation, David Wood, added: “We’re really grateful to the National Trust for Scotland for helping us find a home for the animals while improvements are carried out.
“The giraffes and elephants are really popular at the children’s hospital, and we hope families continue to enjoy seeing them while they’re on safari at Castle Fraser.”
The ARCHIE Foundation aims to make a difference to children’s healthcare, providing extras to support the NHS, including parents’ accommodation, specialist staff and equipment.
They first installed the giraffes and elephants at the children’s hospital in June 2016 to finish off their new garden at the site.
The garden was designed to serve as a relaxing area for sick children and families at the hospital.
The animals will remain at Castle Fraser for about a year, until the works to the hospital have been completed.