An Arctic fox at the Highland Wildlife Park has been joined by a new mate in the hope the pair will produce cubs.
Keepers say four-year-old Elf is already ruling the roost after joining seven-year-old Houdini.
The two foxes have been spotted showing signs of affection towards each other and staff at the Kincraig park are hopeful they will mate.
Arctic foxes were found in Scotland until the last Ice Age, and now only live wild in the Arctic Circle.
Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager, said: "Arctic foxes are perfect for the Highland Wildlife Park. And as we can get winter temperatures down to -25 degrees celsius, the cooler Highland climate is ideal for this animal.
"Elf is a particularly confident female and has been attracting a lot of attention from visitors.
"At first we removed the male from the enclosure for a couple of days to allow Elf to get used to her new home, then when he returned she kept a low profile inside one of the burrows in the enclosure. However, on their third day together mating behaviour was seen.
"Arctic foxes are strictly seasonal breeders and most pups are born in May, so it is unlikely that these late matings will be successful. We will of course prepare for a late birth, but with true Arctic species successful mating outside of the regular breeding season seldom results in a birth and 2013 is likely to be when we will see fox pups."