RENOWNED for being one of the jungle's prickliest customers, a rhino would typically be one of the last wild animals you would want roaming around a busy shopping centre.

However, The Rock welcomed a decidedly friendlier beast this week as its new mascot, Rocky the Rhino, enjoyed his debut outing.

The mascot, who is The Rock's first, had been designed by seven-year-old Chantelle Simbo, from Whitefield, who won a competition hosted by the shopping centre.

After two months production, Chantelle became the first to see Rocky as he was unveiled on Friday.

The youngster said she had been unable to sleep the night before the big reveal because she was so giddy. And when at last she saw Rocky, she added: “I’m so excited. He looks exactly like my drawing.”

The competition for Bury school pupils had been launched by The Rock earlier this year, and the creative schoolgirl's winning design was chosen by judges from more among than 60 entries.

She also scooped a £200 shopping spree at The Rock.

However it was thanks to some good luck and a kind postal worker that her handiwork ever arrived at all, after it was posted without a stamp.

Mum, Natalia Simbo, said: “I’m so proud of Chantelle. She’s very creative and she was so happy when I told her she’d won the competition. School have made a really big fuss of her and she’ll be sharing the prize with her sister, Jasmine.”

The Rock's centre director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, added: “We were blown away by the entries to the competition but Rocky the Rhino was the favourite of all our team. We could see so much effort had gone into Chantelle’s design and we hope she is just as pleased as we are with the final product – it’s so very similar to her entry and we are thrilled with the finish result. Rocky the Rhino will be making appearances at The Rock on several occasions and we hope he brings a smile to our visitors’ faces.”