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'We're awake' - two rescue bears have first hibernation

Bears wide awake after their first winter hibernation Credit: Wildwood Trust

Two brown bears have just come out of hibernation for the first time at a wildlife park in Kent. They had never been able to hibernate before now because of the appalling conditions they experienced before being rescued.

The bears, who are brothers, are now wide awake and have been released into their large enclosure. Jenna Verdicchio reports.

The interviewee is Peter Smith from theWildwood Trust.

Do you recognise this animal? Wildlife experts would like to re-introduce it to the countryside

Pine martens which have been extinct in England for a century could one-day be reintroduced to the South East countryside.

The creatures - members of the stoat and weasel family - were wiped out by loss of habitat, fur hunting and a cull by gamekeepers 100 years ago.

Now a wildlife group in Kent aims to make amends.

Sarah Saunders spoke to Vicki Breakell, Conservation officer at Wildwood.


  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Kent animal sanctuary saves tormented bears

A few months ago, you may remember we told you how an animal charity in Kent was trying to raise money to save abandoned brown bears from a terrible life in Bulgaria.

Well now, thanks to the generosity of local people, enough has been raised that two of the bears have been brought over here to start a new life where they'll be well-kept and cared for.

David Johns went to see the bears, and spoke to the Chief Executive of the Wildwood Trust, Peter Smith.

To donate and help with the ongoing costs of the bear rescue, visit

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Baby dormice saved

Two tiny dormice, which were found abandoned in a flowerpot, are being nursed back to health by carers at the Wildwood Trust near Canterbury.

The endangered animals are being fed a milk formula by hand every two hours and are slowly being weaned onto solid food. David Johns has been to see how they're getting on; he spoke to animal keeper Judi Dunn, and Wildwood's Chief Executive Peter Smith.

Thumb-sized baby dormice rescued from plantpot

Only two of the four dormice survived following the rescue Credit: Wildwood Trust

A group of baby dormice were discovered in a plant pot bought from a garden centre in Kent.

The mice were taken to the Fur and Feather Wildlife Trust in Folkestone and mounted a 24 hour vigil.

Two of the babies did not survive but the two that remain are healthy and safe in the care of the Wildlife Trust conservation.

The Wildwood dormouse rescue centre is the biggest of its kind in the UK and the Canterbury based charity is helping to strengthen dormouse breeding.

Hazel Ryan, Wildwood’s Senior Conservation Officer said, "The hazel dormouse is now classed as extremely vulnerable to extinction but through projects such as this, Wildwood hopes to tip the balance back in favour of the dormouse.”

Due to the cold weather, the survival of the late babies are very small Credit: Wildwood Trust