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Royal Horse Artillery exercise on Woolacombe Sands

32 horses on exercise at Woolacombe Sands Credit: ITV West Country/Jacquie Bird

Horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery are on exercise in the West Country from London for the first time in three years.

32 horses from Left Section, The King’s Troop, will be staying in the area until Sunday 22 September. They have been exercising their horses in the surf at Woolacombe Sands.

The horses will be staying in the area until Sunday 22 September Credit: ITV West Country/Jacquie Bird

Brian May to visit "Camp Badger" in Somerset

Queen guitarist Brian May during a Wounded Badger Patrol in 2013 Credit: PA

One of leading opponents of the badger cull is in Somerset today.

Queen guitarist Brian May has campaigned extensively against the cull and he'll be visiting Camp Badger, which has been set up by anti-cull protesters near Williton in Somerset.

West Somerset is one of the locations for the trial cull, with West Gloucestershire, which he visited yesterday.

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Brian May to visit Somerset to protest against badger cull

Brian May will visit Somerset today Credit: ITV News

One of leading opponents of the badger cull is in Somerset today.

Brian May has campaigned extensively against the cull and he'll be visiting Camp Badger, which has been set up by anti-cull protestors near Williton in Somerset.

West Somerset is one of the locations for the cull.

Missing raccoon returned to zoo

Tanuki has been returned to the zoo Credit: ITV News

A raccoon dog has been returned to a zoo after going missing in a badger cull area of Somerset.

Tanuki, which belongs to the same family as wolves and foxes, vanished from an enclosed area at Tropiquaria zoo near Minehead.

The raccoon dog went missing at 8pm on Saturday and staff arrived the following day to find damage to a wire panel and a steel bar removed.

Police launched an investigation but a member of the public found Tanuki sniffing a fox carcass half a mile away from the zoo on Sunday evening.

The dog was handed to Vanessa Mason, of Secret World wildlife centre, who brought her back to the zoo after a check-up.

Chris Moiser, zoological director of Tropiquaria, appealed for witnesses to contact police with information about the disappearance.

"We are ever so pleased to have her back and have now placed her in a different enclosure to the one that she was in originally whilst we assess her condition," Mr Moiser said.

"Although she appears fit and well at present we cannot be sure what she has eaten whilst out, or what wild animal diseases she may have come into contact with.

"Fortunately she is immunised against the most common ones though.

"From social website chatter there appear to have been several anti-badger cull people in the area at the time that she disappeared who think that they may have seen something.

"We do ask that they contact the police with any information they may have, even down to timings, because this will increase the chance of an arrest.

"Clearly releasing an animal like this during the badger cull period is an act of crass stupidity and could have led to the death of the animal. We are fortunate that it didn't."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Avon and Somerset Police on 101, quoting incident number.

  1. West Country (E)

Raccoon dog missing from zoo in Somerset

The dog escaped on Saturday morning. Credit: Chris Moiser/PA Wire

Police are investigating after a raccoon dog went missing from Tropiquaria zoo near Minehead in Somerset.

The raccoon dog, also known as a tanuki, was last seen at 8pm on Friday night but when staff arrived on Saturday morning they found damage to a wire panel and a steel bar removed.

The animal's name is tanuki, which is also the Japanese name for the species, she was a rescue animal that had been homed with us for a couple of months only.

Although the arrival of the animal had been reported in the local newspapers only a few days before she disappeared, she was not on show to the public, and other than the keeping staff only half a dozen people were aware of where the animal was being kept.

– Chris Moiser, Zoo director

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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