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Four baby dwarf crocodiles hatch at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The four dwarf crocs measure only eight inches long.

Four West African dwarf crocodiles have hatched at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for the first time in 18 years.

Amara and Kojo, the Zoo’s 39-year-old West African dwarf crocodiles last produced offspring in 1998, but on Christmas Eve 2015 the pair were spotted mating, and in March this year, female Amara laid eggs.

Amara closely guarded the nest for three months, and on Friday 17 June four eggs finally hatched, to the delight of Zoo visitors.

When the eggs were in the nest, we were monitoring them closely, ensuring that they were kept at the perfect temperature and humidity levels.

Amazingly, even before hatching, the baby crocs can actually call to their mum from inside the egg. That means that she can help excavate them from the nest and carry the hatchlings down to the water for safety.

Mum Amara is very protective of her little ones, so we are being careful not to disturb any of them during feed times.

We are so excited to have four tiny new additions to our dwarf crocodile group. It’s great to see them out and about in the pool, bonding with their parents and learning that crickets are tasty!

– Alex Cliffe, Team Leader

Classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the four little reptiles will be added to the European Studbook (ESB) for West African dwarf crocodiles.

RSPCA question man after three dogs die in hot car

The RSPCA say dogs must not be left in cars in the hot weather.

A 65-year-old man has been questioned by the RSPCA after three dogs died in a hot car.

Inspectors were called to a vehicle in Peterborough on Thursday 16 June after reports of the animals in distress.

Temperatures reached 19 degrees outside and the animals, whose age and breed is still unknown, later died.

Many people still believe that it's ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they're parked in the shade, but the truth is, it's still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn't feel that warm.

When it's 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.

Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.

If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away/unable to attend, many people's instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog.

If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.

Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do, why, and take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.


Police appeal following reports rowers killed ducklings on River Cam

The River Cam in Cambridge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police are appealing for information following reports that a signet and a number of ducklings were killed on the River Cam in Cambridge.

Officers were called around 12.50pm on Saturday (June 11) with reports that the animals were killed after a group of rowers ploughed through them.

I believe there was a large number of people in the area at the time of the incident and would ask that any witnesses contact us, particularly those who may have video footage.

– Chief Inspector James Sutherland


Lowestoft rocker reunited with pet cat... three years after she went missing

A microchip scan revealed Cully's famous owner. Credit: Cats Protection

The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has been reunited with his pet cat - three years after she went missing.

Ten-year-old Cully was found living as a stray in Lowestoft last month. She was handed in to the charity Cats Protection, where a microchip scan revealed her famous owner.

Justin Hawkins said losing his cat was Credit: Cats Protection

“Losing Cully was heartbreaking for me and my family but I always knew in my heart that she was still alive; I could just feel it.

She's always loved the great outdoors. I periodically checked in with the relevant databases and kept my details up-to-date because I knew this day would come."

– Justin Hawkins, musician

Meet seaside resort's latest attraction - the grazing goats

Forget the Victorian pier, stunning beach and fishing boats hauled up on the shingle, Cromer in Norfolk has added a new must-see sight for visitors to the seaside town - goats.

Eight Bagot billy goats have been brought in to graze an area of the cliff and stop it getting overgrown.

North Norfolk District Council says the new "habitat management project" will keep unwanted plant species under control.

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