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WATCH: Dolphins decide to race Dorset rowers

Bottlenose dolphins showed up beside the boat. Credit: Bridport Gig Club

See the wonderful moment a pod of dolphins decided to race a rowing boat off the coast of Bridport in Dorset.

It was captured by members of the Bridport Gig Club at West Bay, as some of their junior members rowed past the iconic East Cliff.

The rowers said they were amazed to see the playful bottlenose dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

WATCH: Bees swarm in Bristol's heatwave

A swarm of bees in Totterdown, Bristol. Credit: Juliet Fleming

If you're feeling a little restless in the heat, spare a thought for the region's bees.

Juliet Fleming from Bristol has sent us this clip of bees swarming in the hot weather. They gathered in the front garden of a house on Hawthorn St, near Hillcrest Primary School in Totterdown earlier this week.

Experts say it is natural for bees to swarm in hot weather.

A bee specialist has collected the majority of the insects, and will return to collect the stragglers, who are likely to die without their colony.


Listen to Bob's baby badgers in Bath

Our weatherman Bob Crampton turned a bit David Attenborough after he was woken at 3am this morning, 17 June, by the cries of baby badgers at his home in Bath.

He went to investigate the noise and, when he discovered that a mother badger was trying to rescue her three cubs from behind a garden wall, recorded what was going on.

He has even provided the commentary in the style of our favourite wildlife broadcaster. Have a listen.

The badger picture by the way is not one of Bob's but from our files.

WATCH: Orphaned baby rabbit rescued in Somerset

Herman is almost three weeks old. Credit: Secret World Wildlife Rescue

A wildlife rescue centre in Somerset is appealing for support after finding record numbers of animals needing its help this summer.

1,000 casualties have come through Secret World Wildlife's doors in Highbridge in the last month, including 80 in one day alone.

They include an orphaned baby bat the size of a 50p piece, a little owl on antibiotics for respiratory problems and a baby rabbit who needs feeding.

Herman, who is almost three weeks old, weighed just 70g when he was taken in, but has been growing steadily, and is now up to 98g. He's being syringe-fed goat milk, which tries to imitate his natural diet. Looks like he likes it!

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The centre hopes to get all its patients back to the wild by the end of the summer, and has launched a fundraising appeal to help it do that.

Find out more here.

Sheep take to the Downs in an ancient tradition

The grass is always greener on Durdham Downs Credit: ITV News

Now, it's not long before the Shaun the Sheep sculpture trail invades Bristol but today their real life woolly cousins beat them to it.

When the historic Durdham Downs became a public open space in 1861, property owners nearby were given "commoners' rights" to graze livestock there.

And this afternoon, 15 June, that tradition was upheld.

Do ewe think this is a baa-rilliant idea? Credit: ITV News

Injured tortoise has leg replaced with toy car wheel

Touche has been enjoying his new wheel. Credit: ITV News

Vets in Bristol have given a tortoise a new lease of life after replacing one of his legs with a toy car wheel.

Touche the tortoise had to have a leg amputated after an accident last week. Vets at Highcroft Veterinary Hospital attached the wheel of a Hot Wheels toy car to the underneath of his shell, providing extra support for the now three-legged tortoise.

Touche is now back home with his owner, who says he is doing well.


Bristol man's body tests positive for rare bird disease

Pet budgies have been known to pass the rare disease onto humans. Credit: Christian Charisius/ PA

Public Health England has issued a warning to bird-lovers after the body of a man from Bristol tested positive for a rare disease.

Psittacosis is a bird infection which can be passed onto humans by pets such as budgies and parrots. It can cause pneumonia and other severe health problems,

The man is thought to have caught the illness from one of his pets, which contributed to his death.

Bird-owners with concerns (especially those who bought the pets between May 28 and June 3) have been advised to talk to their vet.

“Members of the public who may have come into contact with birds need to be assured that severe illness as a result of infection from this bacteria is rare.

“However, it is important that those individuals are aware of signs and symptoms and discuss any concerns they may have with their GP.”

In humans, the signs and symptoms of psittacosis appear within four to 30 days after exposure but commonly occur after 10 days.

Symptoms include, fever, chills, cough, weakness or fatigue, muscle and chest, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, headaches, sweating and abnormal intolerance to light.

– Mike Wade, Deputy Director of Health Protection for Public Health England South West

Find more information about psittacosis here.

Passing exams with puppy love

Research suggests looking at cute things can help improve concentration. Credit: ITV News

Exam stress at this time of year has given Bristol University paws for thought - so it's trying something different to help students.

The university has set up a special 'puppy room' today, where stressed students take a break from exam prep and dissertation deadlines by cuddling guide dogs and their puppies.

Over 600 students signed up for 15 minutes with the dogs Credit: ITV News

Research published in Japan suggests pictures of cute things such as puppies and kittens can help improve concentration and performance.

About 20 dogs and puppies are being rotated throughout the day with the support of local owners and trainers. Each 'cuddle slot' lasts 15 minutes.

Over 600 students have signed up, and are being asked to make a suggested donation of £2 to the Guide Dogs charity.

While I'm more of a cat person myself, I'm really excited that the University is providing this for students. It's really important to do fun and different things to de-stress during exams and cuddling a puppy is a perfect way to release some endorphins.

– Jo Woods, Union Affairs Officer at Bristol Student Union
This time of year can be stressful for students with exam and deadline pressure. Credit: ITV News

Guide Dogs are most pleased to be able to work with the University of Bristol and allow students the chance to de-stress at this busy exam time. We are sure we will meet lots of students who miss their own pet dogs whilst away at University.

– Sarah Knox, Community Fundraiser for Guide Dogs

Could collars save cows in Gloucestershire?

The cattle are to be given special reflective collars similar to those work by cyclists Credit: ITV News

Cows on two commons near Stroud are to be given special reflective collars to keep them safe from motorists.

The animals graze on Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons and are in danger from the nearby roads.

Now, in a trial funded by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner, two types of collar will be used. The most effective will be adopted permanently.

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