Emily Hancock

Photographer wins a first

The first equestrian photographer to achieve a 'fellowship' - the highest accolade in photography - is Emily Hancock from the New Forest.

Dax

Porky pooch is rehomed

A dog whose owner allowed her to get dangerously out of control is to be rehomed - after an impressive diet regime.

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Southampton study explains history behind foraging

Research from Southampton University has found that animals have used the same technique to search for food for 50 million years.

The findings could explain why so many modern animals use the technique and suggest the pattern could be older than originally thought.

Researchers analysed fossilised sea urchin trails from northern Spain and found the tracks reflect a search pattern still used by a lot of creatures today.

This is the first example of extinct animals using such a strategy.

Creatures including sharks, honeybees, albatrosses and penguins all search for food according to a mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk – a random search strategy made up of many small steps combined with a few longer steps.

How best to search for food in complex landscapes is a common problem facing all mobile creatures.

“Finding food in a timely fashion can be a matter of life or death for animals – choose the wrong direction to move in often enough and it could be curtains. But moving in a random search pattern called a Lévy walk is mathematically the best way to find isolated food.”

– David Sims, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton

Zoo staff step in to save rare penguin chick

The chick was born with the help of zookeepers after the mum faced difficulties Credit: Drusillas Park

A rare penguin chick has hatched with the help of zookeepers from Sussex after a difficult birth.

The Humboldt chick emerged from its shell on Wednesday 2nd April after staff noticed a small hole in the egg.

The cheeky chick finally broke free on Wednesday Credit: Drusillas Park

Humboldt penguins usually hatch after 40 days with greyish feathers and both parents work together to feed and care for their young.

The chicks tend to leave their nest at around 10-12 weeks.

The small shell which the penguin hatched out of on Wednesday Credit: Drusillas Park

Deputy Head Keeper, Jason O’Connell commented: “Hatching can be a difficult time and it can take a while depending on the chick’s own strength. The chick is doing really well now and we are pleased with his progress.

"He will be cared for by his parents within the safety of the nest box over the next few weeks, before finally waddling out onto the beach in time for summer."

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Uncanny walking gorilla celebrates birthday

A Kent wildlife park is celebrating the birthday of one of their most famous animal residents.

Ambam the gorilla went viral in 2011, when a video of him walking upright like a human was shared worldwide.

Port Lympne Wildlife Park are holding a special party for the western lowland gorilla by giving him a very special birthday cake and celebrations at the park.

The gorilla developed his unusual skill of walking on two legs when he was hand-raised after being separated from his mother.

First UK sextuplet lambs born in time for spring

Six lambs were born together last week, which is unprecedented in the UK Credit: Farm Stay UK

A farm in Dorset is looking after newborn sextuplet lambs, which is unprecedented in the UK.

Colesmoor Farm in Dorchester were surprised at the unusual birth of six lambs at the same time - as even quintuplets are rare in the UK.

The Toller Porcorum farm in Dorset helped the ewe give birth Credit: Farm Stay UK

The owner of Colesmoor Farm said: "Although we have lots of triplets and quadruplets and the occasional quintuplet from our 300 ewes, we have never heard of a commercial ewe having six good lambs.

"She had been pregnancy scanned to have five lambs so it was a nice surprise for Emily, our night time lamber, when a sixth turned up. She will probably rear three of them and the other three will join our other orphan lambs.”

See lions protecting their patch at Kent sanctuary

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation has released a video of its lions in a roaring competition at their Big Cat Sanctuary at Smarden in Kent.

The conservation group looks after more than 50 'big cats' at the sanctuary.

The video shows lions trying to defend their area of the site from approaching lions from another pride.

On one side of the site are Kafara, Manzi and Tiny, who are three brothers; while at another location on the site Themba, Joy and Sophia roar - warning the other lions to stay away from their cubs.

You can see the video in full here.

Animal rescue vehicle for Basingstoke

We often joke about firefighters rescuing cats up trees but animal rescue is now recognised as one of the most dangerous activities fire crews undertake. Yes the incidents are becoming more common - so specialised training is essential as well as the right kit for the job.

Today a brand new animal rescue vehicle was unveiled at Basingstoke, as Rachel Hepworth reports.

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Increase in animal accidents on New Forest roads

Motorists are being urged to slow down whilst driving on New Forest roads as last year saw an increase in animals being hit by vehicles.

In 2013, a total of 104 animals were killed or injured on the roads, compared to a record low 82 in 2012.

Generally, the number of accidents has dropped from the early 90's when the 40mph limits were introduced.

Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers said, "A number of initiatives to combat animal accidents are in place including reflective pony collars, road signs, traffic calming measures and enforcement of the 40mph speed limit."

A four wheel drive car after a collision with an animal in the New Forest Credit: New Forest National Park

Lonely pig needs someone to love it

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

She's a bit fat, lives alone in a field and is relying on donations of food from kindly neighbours. Porrick the pig was abandoned when her owner took all his other porkers away except for her. She needs a new home - but who would be willing to take on the friendly pot-bellied beast?

David Johns has been to meet her, speaking to the man who built her shelter, Lance Cruse.

Orphan otters survive floods

Well, it's not just people and property that have suffered during the recent floods - wildlife has also been severely affected. Natural habitats have been washed away, food sources have disappeared and many animals have been orphaned.

Well incredibly two baby otters - just 6 weeks old - have survived that ordeal. After losing their home and their parents they were taken in by a wildlife hospital near Aylesbury. Juliette Fletcher has their story.

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