A VERY small Beatrix Potter drawing has sold for nearly £50,000 at an auction in America.
The three-and-three-quarter inches by six inches ink and watercolour had been expected to sell for up to 37,500 at the Sotheby's auction, in New York, but reached £47,438
The miniature, called 'Guinea pigs going to their garden...' was among 193 original illustrations sold by wealthy American couple, Kendra and Allan Daniel. The painting depicts four guinea pigs following a fifth along a path carrying garden tools.
A spokesman for Sotheby's said: "Early in 1893, when she was in her twenties, Beatrix Potter borrowed a number of guinea pigs from her friend, Miss Paget. One, named Mr Chopps, proved to be no problem but another, named Queen Elizabeth, apparently 'took to eating blotting paper, pasteboard, string and other curious substances and expired during the night. A pair of gardening illustrations date from this time: four guinea pigs following a blue-coated guinea pig and four guinea pigs working under the guidance of the blue-coated guinea pig.
"These were later redrawn in 1922 and used in Potter's book Cecil Parsley's Nursery Rhymes."
A SNOW leopard which featured in a movie starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman is the latest addition to a South Lakeland zoo.
Young male Pavan, one of two leopards who played the part of Stelamaria in The Golden Compass, will be housed in a walk-through enclosure at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis at Hale, near Milnthorpe.
Staff have created a homely feel for their new feline friend with the enclosure designed to look like a Himalayan village with plenty of rocks for him to climb and snooze on.
An acrylic tunnel running through the enclosure will allow visitors to see Pavan in his own habitat in what is thought to be the UK’s first walk-through big cat exhibit.
Assistant manager of Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, Caroline Howard, said: “We’re really excited about Pavan’s arrival - he’s a real celebrity cat! His new home is amazing. You can walk right through his territory while he ranges around you - even above your head!”
Pavan has arrived from UK charity the Cat Survival Trust which helps conserve endangered cats.
Once he has settled in his new environment, zoo staff hope to form a breeding pair by adding a female snow leopard to Pavan’s enclosure.It is not known how many snow leopards are left in the wild but they are now classed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is joining the captive breeding programme which is run by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums.