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Happy ending as injured deer gets its festive freedom

Going home for Christmas. Credit: Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

A roe deer that went blind after a car accident in Weston-super-mare has made a full recovery - just in time to help Rudolph with the deliveries.

She happened to be hit by veterinary nurse Emma Canill, who, when she saw what she had done, immediately rushed the unconscious animal to the surgery where she works.

Luckily she checked with a local wildlife rescue centre if she could just let her go, who pointed out that deer in traffic accidents can go temporarily blind from stress.

Naming her Prancer, Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill looked after her for several days, treating an ulcer in her eye. She was well enough yesterday to be released back into the wild.

Prancer is now back where she belongs - and Santa can rest easy that his sleigh is well tended.

No time to waste. Credit: Secret World Wildlife Rescue

Dartmoor Zoo becomes a charity after crowd-funding campaign

A zoo that inspired a Hollywood film has become a charity.

It comes after an online crowd-funding appeal to raise £1.6m for Devon's Dartmoor Zoo closed on Monday after raising nearly £340,000.

The appeal was boosted by an anonymous gift of £300,000 from a mystery donor. Director Ben Mee said the gaining of the new status meant the zoo's future was "as secure as it has ever been".

Benjamin Mee bought the tourist attraction after the death of his wife Katherine in 2006, inspiring the film 'We Bought A Zoo', which starred Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.

Dartmoor Zoo looks after a wide range of wild and exotic animals from tigers to tortoises Credit: ITV News

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A story that really has the baa factor

The farm in Wadebridge was expecting triplets so had quite a shock when a fourth lamb appeared Credit: ITV News

Now lambs are normally associated with Easter but one farm in Cornwall has been blessed with rather a lot of them this Christmas.

The quadruplets came as a surprise at Wendy Eustice's farm in Wadebridge - only three were spotted when the mum had a scan. They are the first foursome to have been born there in 23 years - and another ewe is also expecting quads.

It's thought it might have something to do with the mild climate.

Wendy's sons George and Samuel lend a hand looking after the brood Credit: ITV News

It certainly does seem a little bit magical. No surprise then that Wendy's sons George and Samuel have named the new arrivals after four characters from their favourite Harry Potter books: Harry, Ron, Hermione and Molly.

Here is a short clip of the foursome down on the farm. We challenge you not to say aah... or perhaps baa...

Dog-owners urged to get their pets chipped

From April 2016 it will be compulsory for dogs to be microchipped - yet over 100,000 dogs in the South West remain unchipped.

The Dogs Trust is encouraging owners to get their dogs chipped by offering free microchipping to all dogs at 20 of its rehoming centres.

The charity hopes dog-owners will take up their offer Credit: Toby Melville/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Palm oil warning to dog walkers

A lump of palm oil on a West Country beach Credit: ITV News

Dog owners are being warned to avoid lumps of palm oil that are being washed up on beaches in East Devon.

The substance, which forms clumps like candle wax, can be fatal. It's previously washed up on beaches in Cornwall.

The local council is asking people to report any findings.

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Charity tries to re-home 'one of its most nervous dogs'

An animal charity is looking to rehome a dog it says is one of the most nervous its ever seen. The Dogs Trust near Ilfracombe says Jack is great with people but just can't cope in a noisy house with his extreme phobia of everyday sounds.

"The sort of type of home we're looking for is quite specific which does make it a little bit more difficult because he's scared of hairdryers, hoovers, microwaves, whispering on the television, dogs in adverts but apparently he does like sport on TV which is quite a strange thing for a dog."

– Claire Joselin, Dogs Trust
Jack. Credit: ITV News
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