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Caribbean stowaway frog discovered in bananas in Surrey supermarket

Credit: RSPCA

Staff at a supermarket in Surrey were left startled when they spotted a live frog amongst bananas which had journeyed all the way from the Dominican Republic.

The stowaway - an Hispaniolan common tree frog - survived the long distance flight from the Caribbean island and arrived more than 4,000 miles away from home unharmed at the Waitrose in Haslemere.

Staff have named him Freddo, after the chocolate bar. He is now being looked after by the RSPCA.

It’s not as uncommon as you might think to have a stowaway of this nature but little Freddo was lucky to survive such a long distance journey.

Luckily Freddo was found before he ended up in a customer's shopping bag as that would be quite a surprise to take home from the supermarket!

– Annie Janes, Animal Collection Officer (ACO)

At first staff had been concerned the frog may be poisonous and were asked not to touch him.

Thankfully, Freddo isn’t dangerous or poisonous. As it turns out, this kind of frog is very common in the Dominican Republic.

Freddo is really cute with big eyes. He changed colour to the white of a plastic bag and the colour of the rock which was fascinating to watch.

I’m quite attached to him now. I would have loved to take him home but I took him to a specialist who has expertise in amphibians and hopefully he can find a lovely, new home.

– Annie Janes, Animal Collection Officer (ACO)

Penguin's bid to find a mate via online dating site Plenty of Fish

Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Park

A sea life specialist at a Dorset sea life centre is hoping to find one of its penguins a mate by putting him on the national singles dating website, Plenty of Fish.

Weymouth Sea Life Park's penguin specialist, Sarah Everett, says the one-year-old male Humboldt penguin - called Spruce - is 'lonely for love'. Spruce lives in the Park's penguin colony but the other penguins are either male or already coupled up.

Sarah has written a detailed dating profile on Plenty of Fish for Spruce. It describes his likes - which include seafood and swimming – and his relationship needs – ‘a partner for life who I can make some little chicks with, as I'm a family man at heart.’

Sarah is now appealing for the public to share Spruce’s Plenty of Fish profile on their social media pages and spread the word to help him find a mate.

Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Park

Penguins are very affectionate birds by nature and often mate for life. I really want to see Spruce settle down with the right girl and after searches for potential mates at other Sea Life centres proved fruitless – they have the same problem as us, too many boys - I thought it was time to look further afield.

Plenty of Fish has been really useful as a means of putting information about Spruce online so I can share the link on social media and send it to other penguin carers around the world – the right girl for him is out there somewhere and I’m determined to help him find her!

– Sarah Everett, Sea Life penguin specialist


Residents wake to find gardens full of cows

The cows moved from garden to garden. Credit: Craig Willson

Residents in Maresfield Drive, Pevensey Bay, East Sussex awoke this morning to find a herd of about 12 cows, gently grazing through their front gardens.

They had apparently escaped from a nearby farmer's field.

The animals had apparently escaped from a nearby field. Credit: Craig Willson


Dog owner must pay £500 after pet fouls pavement

Dog owners are facing substantial fines Credit: PA

Brighton and Hove council say they're getting tough with dog owners who don't clean up after their pets.

A dog owner has had to pay £500 after his pet fouled the pavement in Brighton. Ricky Brooks failed to pay a £75 fixed penalty and ignored a reminder notice. As a result Brighton Magistrates Court increased the fine. He also has to pay costs and a victim surcharge.

Summer must be here - first cygnet born

First cygnet at Abbotsbury Credit: Abbotsbury Swannery

The first cygnets of 2017 have hatched at Abbotsbury Swannery - legend has it that the arrival of the first bird marks the start of summer.

This year there are around 100 nests at the site in Dorset and with each swan laying on average six eggs, hundreds of fluffy cygnets will emerge over the next six weeks.

The sight of the newly-hatched baby swans is good news for the Swannery, after an outbreak of bird flu in January.

First Cygnet born Credit: Abbotsbury Swannery

It has been wonderful to see such a good number of pairs nesting.

It was largely the younger birds which were affected by avian flu, so the number of breeding pairs have been relatively unaffected.

The swans usually mate for life and we get to know each couple.

– Swanherd Steve Groves

The Swannery is the only place in the world where visitors can walk through a colony of mute swans, see cygnets hatching and learning to swim and participate in mass feedings.

The swans lay their eggs at two day intervals and hatching takes place 35 days after the final egg of the clutch has been laid.

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