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Rare dove born at Bristol Zoo

The bleeding-heart dove chick born at Bristol Zoo is a sign of hope for the threatened species Credit: Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo has welcomed the birth of a rare chick.

The Mindanao bleeding-heart dove is native to the Philippines. It is one of many species in the area threatened by the loss of 95% of the country's forests.

Bristol Zoological Society has been working on the islands for two years to stop the decline. It aims to make local people aware of the value of conserving the species and their habitats.

'Pay me £500 or I'll chop up your dog' - pensioner blackmailed over missing pup

A pensioner has been blackmailed with cruel phone calls threatening to cut up her beloved dog unless she pays hundreds of pounds.

Vivienne Garton began to receive the vile messages after he West Highland Terrier Ben disappeared from her garden on April 12.

Ben is ten years old and partially sighted

The worried 65-year-old put up posters over her home of Knowle, appealing for her pooch's return.

But one of the numbers was called twice by an anonymous 'middle-aged man' who threatened to harm the family pet unless Vivienne pays £500.

He left an address of an empty house in Bristol, which frail Vivienne has now handed over to police.

Ben is ten years old, partially sighted, partially deaf, and struggles to walk for long distances.

Avon and Somerset police have confirmed they are now investigating an incident of blackmail. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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RSPCA reports rise in cruelty cases in the South West

Complaints to the RSPCA increased in 2014 Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive

The RSPCA says its figures for 2014 show that cruelty complaints in the South West and Central England have gone up once again.

The charity investigated 28,800 complaints in the South West and central England in 2014 compared to 28,573 in 2013. More than 3,500 of these involved alleged deliberate and often violent cruelty being inflicted upon animals.

It is extremely concerning that we are still receiving so many complaints about animals being deliberately caused to suffer.

Most of the complaints we receive involve animals being neglected or not receiving the right care and often we can put that right by offering welfare advice. However, it is shocking that in 2014 people are still being deliberately cruel in what can be disturbingly inventive ways.

– John Grant, RSPCA superintendent

Does your dog chase its tail?

Mr Darcy doesn't have much of a tail to chase... Credit: ITV News

Researchers at the University of Bristol are trying to find out why some dogs chase their tails or spin in circles and why some don't.

The School of Veterinary Science wants to sign up dogs that don't exhibit this behaviour for its study.

It has already recruited enough "spinning dogs" and now needs those that don't as a comparison.

For more information and to find out how to enrol in the study, click here or email spinningdog-study@bristol.ac.uk.

On the road, saving toads

The annual toad patrol helps the squeaky amphibians survive their quest to breed. Credit: ITV News West Country

Thousands of toads would be killed by Bristol traffic each spring, were it not for volunteers coming to their rescue.

They are currently migrating across busy roads to the ponds where they breed, trying to avoid being squashed on the way.

Caron Bell went along with the toad patrol, armed with buckets and torches, helping the squeaky amphibians survive their quest to breed.

In Fishponds, access to the toad's favourite pond has been granted by the Alcove Angling Club. Toads thrive in ponds with fish, as the frogs and newts are eaten, but the toads are left. This means they can enjoy all the food they would otherwise have to share with their amphibian cousins.

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Snake gets stuck behind steering wheel in Bristol

The snake was on its way to see the vet when it escaped from a rucksack Credit: ITV News

A five-foot long boa constrictor became stuck behind the steering wheel of a car dashboard in Bristol yesterday.

It took two vets and a mechanic three hours to set it free. Credit: ITV News

The snake, which belongs to Miguel Reid from Brislington, was on its way to see the vet when it escaped from a rucksack.

The pet, which belongs to Miguel Reid from Brislington, is called "Snake"

It took two vets and a mechanic three hours to set it free. The pet, which is called "Snake", spent the night in the vet's surgery to recover from its ordeal.

Snake trapped in car dashboard

Five foot snake trapped under car dashboard Credit: Highcroft vets

A five foot long pet Boa Constrictor became stuck behind the steering wheel of a car dashboard yesterday, whilst on its way to see the vet in Bristol.

It took two vets, a veterinary nurse and a mechanic three hours to free the trapped reptile.

Five foot snake trapped under car dashboard Credit: Highcroft vets

WATCH: the moment our reporter managed to "hoot" an owl out of hiding

An eagle owl has apparently been terrorising residents of Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.

The owl has been landing on people, but it's not attacking, it's courting.

This bird is showing classic signs of imprinted behaviour, imprinted on human beings. It is a trained tame owl that has come into breeding condition and basically it wants to breed with the people of Wotton-under-Edge!

– Jemima Parry, International Birds of Prey Centre

Our reporter Ken Goodwin set out to find this amorous animal. He was running out of patience, when he decided to try "hooting". See how he got on:

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