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Firefighters rescue tarantula from house fire

The pale grey creature was passed into the care of the RSPCA. Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Firefighters have rescued a tarantula from perishing in a house fire.

​Crews were called to a blaze in a terraced house in Cedar Road, Southampton, shortly after 10.30pm on Wednesday, by a neighbour who smelt smoke.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service broke down the door to tackled the flames. The occupiers were not home but firefighters found a giant spider in its tank.

We removed the spider and could see the heat pad had melted part of the tank.

We then handed it over to the RSPCA, it had its legs very close to its body so it was difficult to see how big it really was."

– Ally Hicks, Crew Manager

Ocean-going bird makes a long-haul flight too far

An unusual visitor has appeared in Sussex

It would be more at home in the Caribbean, but a huge seabird has been found washed up on the Sussex coast.

It's the first time a Red-footed Booby has ever been seen in this country.

The bird was on its last legs when an animal lover came to its rescue.

Now, the Booby is being nursed back to health, ready to be flown thousands of miles home.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Richard Thompson of RSPCA Mallydams Wood, and Gail Cohen who found the bird.


Sparky's reunion: cat trapped in van engine for 60 miles

Sparky is on the mend after his ordeal stuck in the engine of a van as it travelled 60 miles cross country

A cat which survived a sixty-mile journey trapped in the engine compartment of a van has been reunited with his family.

Sparky travelled from Tottenham in north London to Reading in Berkshire before being rescued, and has made a full recovery from his ordeal. Richard Jones has our report.

The interviewees are Helena Peace from the RSPCA; and Gemma Davis, Sparky's owner.

Sparky is back with his family

Six sheep drown after being forced into river by dog

Six sheep were forced into the water Credit: Earth Trust

Six sheep drowned when they were forced into the water by a dog on the Earth Trust Farm in Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire. Now the charity is urging owners to keep their dogs on a lead around livestock.

Several animals were pulled from the River Thames after being chased in by a loose dog. Five had already drowned and a sixth succumbed to shock and water inhalation.

Chris Parker, Farm Manager at the Earth Trust. said: "It’s very distressing to see animals killed in this way, especially when the accident was completely avoidable. There are signs at every entrance to the meadow asking dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead while sheep are in this field. This is the second time in a week that sheep have been pulled from the river after being chased by dogs and, sadly, this time there were tragic consequences."


'Sparky' survives trip, trapped behind van engine

Sparky was coaxed out of the engine compartment Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA wants to reunite a cat with his owner. The animal was found trapped behind the engine of a removal van.

The ginger tabby cat, nicknamed 'Sparky', was coaxed out of the engine of a van in Reading, Berks, after he is thought to have travelled 60 miles inside the vehicle.

The cat, nicknamed Sparky, was miraculously unscathed by his ordeal and the RSPCA ishoping to reunite him with his owners - who could come from around White Hart Lane area in Tottenham, where the van started the journey.

Darren was shocked when he spotted the cat Credit: RSPCA

Passer-by Darren Sumner managed to coax Sparky out of the van after he spotted the vehicle broken down in London Road, Reading on Sunday.

He said: “I was shocked when I saw the cat. He was sitting behind the heater matrix, I felt his paws and they were boiling hot. He was warm and scared so I sat and stroked him for about 30 minutes until I coaxed him out.'

Darren took the cat home, gave him some food and water and kept him overnight, until an RSPCA officer arrived to collect him.

Darren said: “He’s a lovely cat. He used a litter tray so I think he’s probably someone’s pet. He woke me up at about 3am in the morning for a play. I hope his owners can be found.”

Rare red-footed booby rescued on Sussex beach

The bird normally lives on the Galapagos Islands Credit: East Sussex WRAS

East Sussex WRAS rescuers had a surprise when they turned up to rescue a seabird on St Leonards Beach to find it was a Red Footed Booby.

The birds are normally found on the Galapagos Islands so is obviously a long way from home.

Credit: East Sussex WRAS

The amazingly beautiful bird had been washed ashore but has poor feather condition.

Rescuers managed to catch the bird easily on the beach and brought it back to WRAS's Casualty Centre at Whitesmith for initial care.

The booby has distinctive red feet Credit: East Sussex WRAS

The bird is expected to be transported to RSPCA Mallydams Wood at Hastings first thing Monday morning for more specialist care.

Dog owners urged to lookout for ticks

If you have a dog, then there's a warning about ticks. The biggest study of its kind has found almost a third of dogs could be carrying them.

Ticks can carry a range of diseases including Lyme disease. It's a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks, with up to 3000 new cases diagnosed every year. The initial reaction is a rash or flu-like symptoms. But it can later develop with limb pain, problems with the nervous system, heart problems and memory loss.

Andrew Pate spoke to wildlife expert and New Forest resident, Chris Packham, who is leading the campaign.

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