AL Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve has welcomed its latest residents with the arrival of four saluki dogs.
They are also known as gazelle hounds and are native to the Arabian Peninsula.
The saluki is one of the oldest breeds of purebred dog in existence and is known for its extraordinary speed, stamina and eyesight, which makes it an ideal hunting dog.
Images of a breed resembling it can reportedly be found on carvings made in Sumeria 9,000 years ago, while mummified remains of Salukis are said to have been found lying alongside the remains of Egyptian pharaohs.
Four have been donated to Al Areen by a member of the Bahrain Ruling Family and will be housed in a 900sqm enclosure.
The park intends to breed the dog as part of its mission to conserve and protect native plant and animal species, said Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife director general Professor Ismail Al Madani.
The dog is usually partnered with trained falcons and used to hunt gazelles and rabbits. It can reach speeds of up to 80kmph in pursuit of its prey and hunts by sight rather than smell.
Resembling a greyhound with long furry ears, the dog is docile and does not require any special care, said Prof Al Madani.
The enclosure is currently open to the public.