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Relief for River Otter's beavers

These shots of a baby beaver (kit) with an adult are proof that the colony is breeding Credit: Tom Buckley

A family of beavers that made their home along the River Otter in Devon are being allowed to stay - for the next five years at least.

As many as ten of the animals have set up home along the river. They haven't lived freely in our countryside for centuries but Natural England says they can remain while conservationists study their impact on the environment.

Devon Wildlife Trust comes with eyes open to this project. We know what it means because we have studied these animals for three years. I'm sitting on a tree that has been felled by these animals so they can bring change to our landscape, but that doesn't mean destruction. That means opportunities for other kinds of wildlife.

– Steve Hussey, Devon Wildlife Trust
Beavers were here! Devon Wildlife Trust is to study the impact of the animals over the next five years Credit: ITV News

Decision expected on Devon's beavers

It is thought at least three beavers are living in the wild near Ottery St Mary Credit: PA

A decision is due on the fate of wild beavers living on the River Otter in Devon.

Conservationists think at least three now live near Ottery St Mary. Devon Wildlife Trust hopes to spend five years studying the impact of the beavers on the local environment. It has launched an appeal to fund the project.

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It's time to count our feathered friends

The House Sparrow was the most common bird spotted in West Country gardens last year. Credit: PA

The RSPB is asking people to take part in its annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey this weekend.

The charity wants us to go outside for an hour and record the wildlife we see.

Last year in the West Country, House Sparrows and Blue Tits were the most common birds spotted.

Each year around 600,000 people take part. This is the survey's 36th year.

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Baboon 'Staying Alive' after heart attack with help from the Bee Gees

Aunt Bessie recovering from her ordeal. Credit: Paignton Zoo

A baboon at Paignton Zoo whose heart had stopped was brought back to life after the vet giving her CPR used the song 'Staying Alive' to count compressions.

The ailing monkey, named Aunt Bessie, collapsed twice in one afternoon. After the second time her heart stopped her chances of survival were slim, but she began to recover after the zoo's vet played the classic Bee Gees hit while trying to revive her.

This, combined with adrenaline and corticosteroids helped the four-year-old monkey turn a corner.

Aunt Bessie is now fully recovered and back with her troop at the zoo.

A baboon's heart rate is similar to that of a young human so the British Heart Foundation’s TV commercial used the song because it's a good prompt for the rate of cardiac massage ... You start to wonder whether anything you do will make a difference, but you have to keep trying when you believe there is still a chance.

– Ghislaine Sayers, Head Vet at Paignton Zoo

Seal pups to be returned to the wild

A seal pup being released at Gwithian last winter. Credit: ITV News West Country

The first seal pups of the season will be returned to the wild today in West Cornwall.

The Cornwall Seal Sanctuary will release six pups at Gwithian.

They'd been washed up in winter storms.

Seal pups get washed up on the beach in the stormy weather. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images
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Soots you sir! Help for owl stuck in chimney

Secret World Animal Rescue based at East Huntspill in Somerset have taken in a barn owl that was rescued from a chimney.

It is clearly in good hands but we hope this doesn't happen very often.

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