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Woman charged with blackmail after 6 horses targeted

Woman due before magistrates in Worthing

A 24-year-old woman has been charged with blackmail after the tails and manes of six horses were cut in Shoreham earlier this year.

The animals were targeted at Buddy's Yard in Steyning Road, under the Shoreham Flyover. Four of the horses were in a field, the two others were in a stable. The incident happened overnight between Friday 29th January and Saturday 30th January.

Sussex Police said that Kirsty Geoghegan, aged 24, from Hove is due to appear before Worthing Magistrates Court on the 19th July 2016.


Endangered African painted dog pups make debut at Port Lympne

Keepers at Port Lympne Animal Reserve in Kent are celebrating as not one, but three litters of endangered African painted dog puppies have made their public debut.

It's thought less than 3000 of this breed, which is most commonly found in Southern Africa, now remain in the wild.

The birth of these pups, who are now three months old and a mix of males and females, takes the number of African painted dogs at the Reserve, near Ashford, to a staggering 43.

'He gets so excited' meet Harry, the skateboarding dog!

The owner of a labrador-cross says he is one talented pooch.

A dog owner from Hampshire is hoping that her pet will become the new face of an animal charity. Christina Farley from Stubbington claims her Labrador-cross, Harry, is one of the cleverest dogs in the country.

Harry has reached the final of a competition run by Blue Cross. He has an extensive trick list, that even includes skateboarding. Richard Jones reports.

Spectacular horse sculptures to be sold at auction

One of the horse's heads being sold at auction Credit: Summer Place Auctions

A fascinating auction is due to take place at Billingshurst in West Sussex. Camden Lock is now famous for its market – the fourth most popular London visitors' attraction, with around 100,000 visitors each weekend – but it used to be known for the Pickford horse stables and horse hospital.

To commemorate the origins of the market, the owners commissioned a number of bronzes, mainly depicting horses and those working with them, to be installed around the market and in the market halls in the 1990s.

Some of these life-sized bronzes will now be sold at auction in Summers Place Auction's Sculpture and Design for the House and Garden live sale on 21 and 22 October.

Eighteen bronzes and statues will be included in the live sale and the particular highlights are the two monumental horse's heads, both about 3.2 metres high and 3.7 metres wide, they are being sold as individual lots, with an estimate of £15,000 – 25,000 each.

Also included in the sale is a bronze stallion, which is over two metres high and estimated at £5,000 – 8,000.

Southampton study explains history behind foraging

Research from Southampton University has found that animals have used the same technique to search for food for 50 million years.

The findings could explain why so many modern animals use the technique and suggest the pattern could be older than originally thought.

Researchers analysed fossilised sea urchin trails from northern Spain and found the tracks reflect a search pattern still used by a lot of creatures today.

This is the first example of extinct animals using such a strategy.

Creatures including sharks, honeybees, albatrosses and penguins all search for food according to a mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk – a random search strategy made up of many small steps combined with a few longer steps.

How best to search for food in complex landscapes is a common problem facing all mobile creatures.

“Finding food in a timely fashion can be a matter of life or death for animals – choose the wrong direction to move in often enough and it could be curtains. But moving in a random search pattern called a Lévy walk is mathematically the best way to find isolated food.”

– David Sims, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton


Zoo staff step in to save rare penguin chick

The chick was born with the help of zookeepers after the mum faced difficulties Credit: Drusillas Park

A rare penguin chick has hatched with the help of zookeepers from Sussex after a difficult birth.

The Humboldt chick emerged from its shell on Wednesday 2nd April after staff noticed a small hole in the egg.

The cheeky chick finally broke free on Wednesday Credit: Drusillas Park

Humboldt penguins usually hatch after 40 days with greyish feathers and both parents work together to feed and care for their young.

The chicks tend to leave their nest at around 10-12 weeks.

The small shell which the penguin hatched out of on Wednesday Credit: Drusillas Park

Deputy Head Keeper, Jason O’Connell commented: “Hatching can be a difficult time and it can take a while depending on the chick’s own strength. The chick is doing really well now and we are pleased with his progress.

"He will be cared for by his parents within the safety of the nest box over the next few weeks, before finally waddling out onto the beach in time for summer."

Uncanny walking gorilla celebrates birthday

A Kent wildlife park is celebrating the birthday of one of their most famous animal residents.

Ambam the gorilla went viral in 2011, when a video of him walking upright like a human was shared worldwide.

Port Lympne Wildlife Park are holding a special party for the western lowland gorilla by giving him a very special birthday cake and celebrations at the park.

The gorilla developed his unusual skill of walking on two legs when he was hand-raised after being separated from his mother.

First UK sextuplet lambs born in time for spring

Six lambs were born together last week, which is unprecedented in the UK Credit: Farm Stay UK

A farm in Dorset is looking after newborn sextuplet lambs, which is unprecedented in the UK.

Colesmoor Farm in Dorchester were surprised at the unusual birth of six lambs at the same time - as even quintuplets are rare in the UK.

The Toller Porcorum farm in Dorset helped the ewe give birth Credit: Farm Stay UK

The owner of Colesmoor Farm said: "Although we have lots of triplets and quadruplets and the occasional quintuplet from our 300 ewes, we have never heard of a commercial ewe having six good lambs.

"She had been pregnancy scanned to have five lambs so it was a nice surprise for Emily, our night time lamber, when a sixth turned up. She will probably rear three of them and the other three will join our other orphan lambs.”

See lions protecting their patch at Kent sanctuary

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation has released a video of its lions in a roaring competition at their Big Cat Sanctuary at Smarden in Kent.

The conservation group looks after more than 50 'big cats' at the sanctuary.

The video shows lions trying to defend their area of the site from approaching lions from another pride.

On one side of the site are Kafara, Manzi and Tiny, who are three brothers; while at another location on the site Themba, Joy and Sophia roar - warning the other lions to stay away from their cubs.

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