The zoo will take into its care two female snow leopard cubs, re-homing them in a spacious, purpose-built enclosure where they’ll roam and be looked after by a team of specially trained keepers.
They were originally due to arrive in early November, but Lockdown delayed their arrival to early December.
The zoo, near Felton, will be the first and only place in the North East where visitors will be able to see the beautiful big cats up close.
The cubs, travelling from Scotland’s RZSS Highlands Wildlife Park, will arrive at the beginning of December.
Northumberland Zoo plans to remain closed after lockdown lifts following their arrival to allow the young cats to settle and acclimatise to their new surroundings before holding an exclusive, snow leopard-themed public reopening ceremony on the weekend of December 5 and 6.
Maxine Bradley, of the not-for-profit business, said: “We’re so excited to welcome the young cats to the family, their arrival signals yet another new chapter for Northumberland Zoo, as we strive to be one of the most exciting, conservation-focused attractions in the region.
"Snow leopards are renowned for being highly elusive in the wild, so we’re truly privileged to have them here, offering the public an unprecedented chance to get up close and learn more about these beautiful creatures.
“The cats’ arrivals represent a fantastic boost for the region at a time when good news isn’t so forthcoming; we can’t wait to welcome visitors in to see them.”
The zoo adheres to the very highest standards of hygiene and visitor safety, meaning it is making available only a restricted number of passes.
A percentage of the weekend takings will be donated towards the vital conservation projects that are carried out by the Snow Leopard Trust in the cats’ native range.
Keith Gilchrist, animal collections manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said, "It has been an incredible year watching our snow leopard cubs grow and they will be missed by everyone here at the park.
"They are and continue to be an incredible ambassador for their relatives in the wild."
Tickets will go on sale on December 1.