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Baby sharks to make their new home in Scarborough

Two shark babies will arrive at their new home in Scarborough today Credit: Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary

Two shark babies - both a little over six months old - will arrive at their new home Scarborough Sea Life Centre today.

Born in Germany last summer, the baby blacktip reef sharks were among the first dozen produced in a pioneering Europe-wide Sea Life breeding programme.

Though currently not endangered, some localised colonies of blacktips have been wiped out by the shark-finning industry.

Marine experts believe Sea Life's programme could prove invaluable if captive bred blacktips are needed for future reintroduction to the wild.

"They are an unrelated male and female and the hope is that when they reach sexual maturity in four or five years, they will produce second-generation captive bred offspring, which would confirm captive breeding as a realistic safety net for this species", said displays supervisor Lyndsey Crawford.

They will be joined in the new-look ocean display, complete with simulated coral reef and shipwreck, and a pair of bonnethead sharks.

The '12 Pups of Christmas' desperately need a home

The RSPCA is desperately looking for people to help them re-home 12 puppies who were born to a mother who rejected them.

The Northumberland West Branch of the charity was contacted on December 19 by a woman in the Hexham who needed help to hand rear the pups. They have since been called The 12 Pups of Christmas).

The puppies had to be born by caesarian but their mother Maud rejected them.

The charity says a litter of 12 is a big responsibility to hand rear. They are believed to be a Bull type breed cross mother, and with a Husky for a father they are likely to grow to quite a size.

If anyone wants to help take care of the puppies, they are asked to contact the RSPCA.

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Terrified fox found after being attacked by dog

A fox has been rescued by a neighbourhood police officer after a group of young people reportedly set a dog on it.

A terrified fox found in Middlesbrough after being attacked by a gang of youths with a dog Credit: Cleveland Police

The fox was found on Monday evening, January 25, at around 8pm, when police were called to an address on Beechwood Avenue in Middlesbrough.

The animal was found scared and trying to hide, with several puncture wounds on its body.

Witnesses describe how the teenagers chased and cornered it before encouraging the dog to attack.

The RSPCA is now looking after the fox.

  • Anyone with information should call Cleveland Police on 101.

Northumberland Mountain Rescue gets new four legged team member

Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team have a new recruit.

Credit: Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team

Two year old Border Collie, Tess, has passed a gruelling three day Search and Rescue assessment in the Peak District. Following her success, Tess will now be responding to emergencies.

Credit: Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team

Dog Handler Brian Allport said:

Tess is a fantastic dog skilled in searching for missing persons. She is trained to detect the scent of a person and then follow that scent to its source, once located she will return to me, indicate by barking and lead me back to the lost person. Once we have the location of he missing person we can alert the rest of the team and get the missing person the help they need.”

– Dog Handler Brian Allport
Credit: Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team

Tess’s parents are both operational Search and Rescue Dogs; Father Fly is with Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team and mother, Bess, with North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team. The dogs take around two years to train to get to this point.

'Joseph the dog' found tied up and alone on Christmas Eve

Credit: RSPCA

A dog that was found tied up and abandoned in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Christmas Eve has been given some festive cheer after being taken in by the RSPCA.

Staffy cross 'Joseph', as he has been nicknamed by the staff at the RSPCA’s Felledge Animal Centre, was cold and nervous when he was found tied to a lamppost on Benfield Road at around 9pm.

Joseph is now being cared for at the RSPCA centre, near Chester-le-Street, after he was taken there by inspector Suzanne Edgar.

Staff treated the brindle bull terrier to Christmas lunch, after he was left with nothing but his collar and lead.

When the caller found him he was very understandably nervous, but he’s very friendly.

It wasn’t raining but, being Newcastle, it was very cold. It was very windy and the temperature was down to around two degrees.

An RSPCA animal collection officer took him to a vet where he spent the night, before I took him to Felledge Animal Centre on Christmas Day.

There are some shops near to where he was found and the person who spotted Joseph made enquiries at those, as well as the nearby pub and off-licence, but nobody knew anything about him.

Someone has presumably tied him to the lamppost on purpose and either dumped him, or they simply forgot about him.

It is so sad to think of a dog being abandoned at any time of year, but especially at Christmas when most people are enjoying themselves with their friends, family and pets.

I’m just so grateful to the person who found him and called us because otherwise Joseph could have been left out all night. Thankfully the staff at Felledge have made sure he’s been given plenty of Christmas treats.”

– Inspector Edgar, RSPCA

Joseph was not microchipped and has no form of identification on his collar, but is in reasonable health. He is thought to be about five-years-old.

Anyone with any information about who Jospeh belongs to or who left him can contact inspector Edgar by calling the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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VIDEO: Thousands of starlings perform aerial display

The Durham Wildlife Trust captured this fantastic video of starlings in Gateshead.

Thousands of starlings have been gathering over Shibdon Pond to perform this aerial display.

Vivien Kent, Conservation Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust, says "Starlings are a red listed bird and their numbers have reduced significantly from 30 or 40 years ago. This is thought to be due to loss of habitat and changes in farming methods. The large numbers seen in this country in the autumn and winter are not just local birds, they are supplemented by millions that arrive from continental Europe where the winters are mush harsher making it more difficult to survive"

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