POOLE’S popular wooden animals are back at the Dolphin Shopping Centre – and this time they are wearing face masks.

The much-loved sculptures which have been in storage are one again on display to encourage shoppers to wear coverings when visiting the shopping centre.

Visitors can see turtle, hippo and whale donning their specially designed surgical masks made by retailer Sew Quick.

The last time the wooden animals were on show was last year to mark the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s 50th birthday celebrations.

Dolphin Shopping Centre manager John Grinnell said: “It is fantastic to welcome the wooden animals back to the shopping centre.

“They are considered to be a local treasure and we hope that by displaying the animals with their face coverings, this will act as a friendly reminder and encourage all shoppers to wear a mask unless they’re exempt.”

Under the current rules, face masks and coverings must be worn in a number of indoor settings including shops and supermarkets, shopping centres, theatres, bowling alleys and cinemas.

The mahogany animals were introduced to the Dolphin Centre, formerly known as the Arndale Centre, when it opened in 1969.

Made by artist Peter Hand, they withstood nearly 30 years of children climbing on them, before being removed in 1997.