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Plymouth divers' close encounter with a dolphin named Clet

Three divers from the National Marine Aquarium were joined by a special visitor at Firestone Bay in Plymouth Sound - a bottlenose dolphin named Clet.

The divers had been monitoring the growth of seagrass when the popular dolphin circled the team and seemed friendly and inquisitive about what they were doing. Rachel Cole managed to capture on film the few minutes that Clet was with them.

Clet is unusual as he’s a solitary male who roams between Brittany, France and the Isle of Mull in Scotland. He was sighted in Dorset a couple of weeks ago, and in Torbay and Dartmouth more recently.

"I turned around and saw a huge silhouette of what I thought was a seal. It was only when Clet turned and I saw the dorsal fin that I knew it was him! He has joined me on a dive in Brixham before so I was ecstatic to see him again, especially on the first team dive with my work colleagues!”

– Rachel Cole, Community Seagrass Initiative

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


Cute picture alert: Baby mongooses born at Exmoor Zoo

Mumbles and Wiggles are now being looked after by keepers

Two yellow Mongooses have been born at Exmoor Zoo.

Keepers had to intervene to save the lives of Mumbles and Wiggles -as they've been called - after their mum ran out of milk and could no longer care for them.

The only two previous litters born at the zoo died in similar circumstances but on this occasion the zoo wasn't going to let that happen and took the decision to step in to hand rear the pair.

The Mongooses will become part of Exmoor Zoo's educational programme where children can get the opportunity to interact with wild animals and learn about the preservation of their natural habitats.

Lynn Reynolds from Exmoor Zoo told us this:

"That's my spot!" Crocodile tussles with terrapin at Paignton Zoo

This terrapin refused to budge Credit: Abigail Hewings / Paignton Zoo.

A crocodile at Paignton Zoo found an effective way of resolving the problem when he found somebody sat in his favourite spot.

The West African dwarf crocodile simply sat on top of his companion - a red-eared terrapin.

The photograph captures the quietly-determined tussle as the two battled it out for space under one of the heat lamps.

We have multiple basking spots in the enclosure to prevent competition and allow plenty of choice, so why they decided to climb over each other, I don’t know!

– Mike Bungard, curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates

The pair live in the Zoo’s Reptile Tropics exhibit and are usually on good terms.

Dartmoor saving endangered butterfly

Dartmoor has become a strong habitat for the species.

Dartmoor is being credited with saving a rare butterfly from extinction.

The High Brown Fritillary was classed as critically endangered last year, but has seen a 180% increase since, as the moor has become its stronghold - helped by last year's warm spring.

The High Brown Fritillary has increased in numbers by almost 200%. Credit: Butterfly Conservation

Beavers back in the River Otter

A family of beavers has been returned to the wild after being given a clean bill of health by Natural England.

An adult beaver being released back into the wild in Devon

Devon Wildlife Trust returned the beavers to the River Otter last night. They are thought to be the only breeding family in the UK.

The Trust will study the beavers over the next five years to assess the impact they have on the local environment.

This has been a really difficult few months, a huge amount of work.

We've been focusing a lot of time and effort to make sure these beavers come back to the river safely.

– Peter Burgess, Devon Wildlife Trust


Cliff collapse closes coast path in Devon

Council officers are due to inspect the scene of a cliff collapse at South Hams in Devon.

Falmouth Coastguard described Sunday night's landslip at Butter Cove in Bantham as substantial. You can see the scale of it in this photo taken by the police helicopter, which was called out to survey the fall. The coast path is closed in the area for safety reasons.

The police helicopter took this shot of the cliff collapse at Butter Cove Credit: NPAS Exeter

More pictures!

A view of the partial solar eclipse from Tavistock, Devon.

A view from West Devon Credit: ITV News

Castle Primary School in Tiverton had fun watching the spectacle.

Credit: Castle Primary School

Rich Wiltshire took this superb photo of the eclipse in Bridgwater.

Credit: Rich Wiltshire

These impressive shots were taken in St Ive, Liskeard, by Paddy Long

Credit: Paddy Long
Credit: Paddy Long

John Habbishow took this one in Barnstaple.

Credit: John Habbishow

Beavers to be released back into River Otter

Beavers will be released back into the River Otter after tests showed they're disease free. The animals were captured to check they weren't infected by a dangerous parasitic disease.

A baby beaver (kit) with an adult Credit: Credit: Tom Buckley

Now they've been given the all clear and they'll return to their habitat in the next few weeks. Devon Wildlife Trust has been given a 5 year licence to study the beavers.

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