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Orphaned otter rescued from Gwynedd riverbank

The cub is believed to be around 10 weeks old Credit: RSPCA

An orphaned otter cub is making good progress at an RSPCA wildlife centre, after being rescued from the bank of an estuary in Gwynedd.

A member of the public heard loud squeaking noises while out walking near the village of Talsarnau on Boxing Day and found the young cub on the bank.

The RSPCA says the cub was becoming increasingly distressed and as there was no sign of his parents returning, he was taken into the care of a local vet. He's now being cared for at the RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.

The cub is being cared for at a wildlife centre and will eventually be released back to the wild Credit: RSPCA

Rob Scrivens, otter rehabilitation co-ordinator at Stapeley, said: "This youngster is around 9-10 weeks old and is a really feisty character, which is very good sign. He is currently eating well and seems bright and healthy.

"It is unclear why he was separated from his parents but the recent bad weather could be to blame."He added that once the cub is big and independent enough to fend for himself he will be released back to the wild.

RSPCA inspector Mark Roberts said: "This little otter has somehow become separated from his mother and could have died without intervention.

"We would like to remind people before touching any baby wild animal, we always advise monitoring first to check that it is genuinely orphaned or abandoned, as mum is often nearby and waiting for you to leave."

The cub was found on an estuary bank in Gwynedd Credit: RSPCA

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Thousands of homes without power in north Wales

Gale forces winds have brought down electricity cables leading to power cuts. Credit: PA

Engineers are trying to restore the power to around 7,000 homes in Gwynedd and Anglesey today after severe gales forced down power lines.

Scottish Power says wind speeds of over 100mph have been recorded in Gwynedd, Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula and 10,000 homes are without power across the network area.

The energy company says the biggest issue affecting the electricity network has been uprooted trees and other debris blown on to overhead power lines, which has caused damage and brought down lines in some areas.

It says storm force winds are predicted to remain for most of the day causing hazardous working conditions and hampering the recovery operation.

The areas worst affected by electricity supply problems currently are Gwynedd (2,500) and Anglesey (4,500).

ScottishPower says it has cancelled all non-essential maintenance work, and has drafted in extra engineers and contractors in order to help with the emergency response.

The company will do all that it can to restore supplies as quickly as possible. However, a number of roads and bridges have been blocked and closed by fallen trees which could restrict access and where wind speeds remain high engineers will not be able to climb poles and work at height.

Woman fights to save her sanctuary after fatal attack

by Ian Lang

A woman who survived a murderous attack on her family when she was just a child, is now campaigning to save the area near her home that helped her recover.

Josie Russell and her neighbours are trying to stop slate from a tip in Gwynedd being extracted and sold.

The council has already granted plans for two smaller sites to be excavated, but Josie and the protesters are concerned the scheme will ruin the area's natural beauty.

Tywyn's Halo Foods factory to close on Friday

The Halo Foods factory at Tywyn in Gwynedd will close tomorrow. The company is moving production to its plant at Newport in South Wales. Only a tenth of the workforce is taking up the company's offer to move to the new factory.

It's emerged that the firm was considering moving out of Wales altogether, and transferring to Eastern Europe.

The loss of more than a hundred jobs at one of the town's biggest employers is expected to hit the area hard. There are calls for help to attract more investment.

Kevin Ashford reports.

Read more: Snack plant jobs to move south

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Gwynedd man jailed over horse welfare

The horses were found in unsuitable conditions Credit: RSPCA

A Gwynedd man has been given a ten week custodial sentence at Caernarfon Magistrates Court after being found guilty of multiple animal welfare offences on 25th October.

Evan Lloyd Evans, 68, from Pwllheli, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the welfare needs of 51 horses at his property.

The court heard that on a visit to the property RSPCA officers had to put nine horses to sleep because they were suffering from untreatable hoof conditions. Around 50 horses were removed by the RSPCA because they were suffering from inappropriate hoof care and living in an unsuitable environment.

Evan Evans has been banned from keeping or owning horses for 10 years.

RSPCA Inspector Mark Roberts said: "The conditions we found at Criccieth Stud were appalling and completely inappropriate for the ponies kept there. Many of them had acute problems with their feet and other serious health issues."

4 people airlifted to hospital after boat capsizes

The boat capsized near Aberdovey

Four people have been airlifted to hospital after their boat capsized off the Gwynedd coast.

It overturned close to the shore near Aberdovey and Tywyn.

Those on board managed to get ashore, but they were flown to Bronglais Hospital as a precaution by an RAF rescue helicopter.

Milford Haven coastguard said the group were assessed on shore, and had suffered no injuries.

Salmonella outbreak 'could be linked to cooked ham'

A Salmonella outbreak in Conwy and Gwynedd could be linked to the consumption of cooked ham, an investigation has shown.

So far 51 people, aged between seven months and 87 years old, have been affected by the outbreak, which was originally detected in August.

One new case in Wales has been identified, meaning there are 21 laboratory confirmed and two probable cases here.

There are 30 laboratory confirmed cases in England.

Nine people have required hospital treatment as a result of the illness.

The strain of Salmonella we are investigating is very unusual so it is highly unlikely that the cases in England and Wales are coincidence.

Testing has been carried out on ham supplied to a number of butchers identified as part of the investigation. No trace of Salmonella has been found, but other hygiene issues were identified that led to one supplier voluntarily withdrawing certain batches of ham.

A number of lines of inquiry are still being investigated and we continue to monitor the situation.

– Dr Judy Hart, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales

Bear backs down over slide

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls Credit: Tammie Arroyo/AFF/EMPICS Entertainment

Bear Grylls has backed down over a slide he installed on his island holiday home. Gwynedd council say he intends to remove the slide from St Tudwal’s West, off the popular resort of Abersoch, after concerns about safety and whether it needed permission.

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