The first set of Andean bear twins ever born in the UK have emerged from their den at Chester Zoo for the first time.
The cubs were born in January and have spent the first six months of their life cuddled up with their eight-year-old mum, Lima, but have now finally ventured out to explore.
The rare twin cubs have been spotted enjoying ‘friendly rough and tumble’, including attempts at climbing trees.
Chester Zoo – which reopened around three months ago after the country backed a huge petition – has named the cubs Pacha (female) and Mateo (male) and hailed the birth of the cubs ‘very, very special’.
Lucy Edwards, Chester Zoo’s assistant team manager of carnivores, said: “Andean bears are incredibly shy animals and, for this reason, are still something of mystery to conservationists.
“So to see mum Lima allowing her two little cubs to explore so freely and enjoy a bit of friendly rough and tumble is just wonderful – it’s very, very special.
“The twin cubs are so full of energy and their playful personalities are really starting to show – it looks like they will be keeping mum very busy.
“Just a few weeks ago, while the zoo was closed, a small team of keepers and vets managed to give the cubs a quick check over and we’re very happy to report that both were given a clean bill of health.
“It’s great that we can now safely welcome back visitors and they can learn more about Andean bears and see the twins for themselves – an incredibly rare sight, even for conservationists studying them day in, day out in the field.”
The species – made popular by the children’s character Paddington Bear – is estimated to have fewer than 10,000 remaining in the wild.
Andean Bears, like Paddington, are found in South America, in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.
They are currently listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Lucy added: “Mum Lima is doing an incredible job caring for her new cubs and they seem to be really thriving under her watchful eye.
“Her new arrivals are vital additions to the endangered species breeding programme, which is working to preserve the species, help conservationists to learn more about them and, ultimately, protect the long-term future of these beautiful bears.
“Alongside this important work in the zoo, our conservationists have also been working in Bolivia, alongside our partners the local NGO PROMETA and the University of Oxford, to understand how Andean bears live in the wild.
“Together, we are striving to find new ways to prevent conflict between bears and humans – a key threat to this species. The project is the first of its kind in the region and aims to have bears and humans living side by side in harmony.”
In South America, Andean bears share their habitat with the poorest and most vulnerable communities on the continent, an area which is being severely challenged by climate change.
The bears sadly pose a threat to crops and livestock which is dwindling their natural habitat. Experts suggest that more than 30% of forests in South America have disappeared in the last 20 years due to mass-scale deforestation and climate change.
The cubs were born on January 10, 2020 with mum Lima born on January 12, 2012 and dad Bernie born on January 14, 2010
Everything we know so far about Chanel’s upcoming fashion show in Manchester
Global superstars are expected to jet into the city for the huge fashion event
Chanel is coming to town and here’s all we know so far about the huge event, and the celebrities rumoured to be attending.
The cat is out of the bag, after weeks of strange goings on around Manchester’s Northern Quarter, including the construction of a huge roof, we now know Chanel will be bringing its Métiers d’Art show to our city.
Shrouded in secrecy over the past weeks, the iconic French luxury fashion house Chanel will showcase its new collection on a catwalk along Thomas Street and High Street on Thursday, December 7th.
The annual Métiers d’Art show will be Chanel’s first show in the UK in ten years. On why the luxury designer label chose Manchester for its upcoming show, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, said the city is ‘audacious and interesting’.
Around 600 invite-only guests are expected to turn out including supermodels, celebrities, fashion editors, influencers and industry insiders.
It’s believed 400 of those will be VIPs with strong Manchester links including former Manchester United and England star David Beckham and his wife, Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.
These Chanel fashion shows usually choose a location that ties in with the theme of the collection which typically fuses art, fashion and culture in a show that is expected to last around 45 minutes.
Luxury hotels around the city are fully booked out in preparation for the huge event, attracting superstars in the world of showbiz and fashion from all around the world.
Many businesses located along the street of the catwalk have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) while the transformation has been taking place, and are set to close for three days.
Some local establishments in the area have accepted a sum of money to compensate for the disruption caused to business, with one reportedly being given around £47,000 to close for ‘a couple of weeks’ – as reported in the Manchester Evening News.
An ultra-exclusive after party has reportedly been planned to take place in the Grade-II listed building of Victoria Baths, with its stunning art nouveau stained-glass windows and tiled interior with unique features.
The website of the baths, located on Hathersage Road, doesn’t have any upcoming events listed – as the heritage building usually does.
Many Mancunians have asked for the Thomas Street roof structure to be left as a gift from Chanel to Manchester, as it will also help shelter people from typical Northern weather.
For those who won’t be able to attend the event and are feeling a little left out, Chanel has now confirmed that the runway show will be released as a film for everyone to see. It will go live on Friday morning at 9am in the UK (10am in France).
The French designer shared an Instagram post stating: “The film of the show will be revealed on Friday, December 8th at 9am Manchester time, 10am Paris time.”
The Métiers d’Art Chanel show is a celebration of haute couture and a testament to Chanel’s dedication and contribution to fashion, known for its timeless elegance, and will showcase the hottest trends to come in the new season.
Fans across the city will be getting their hopes up of seeing the likes of Timothée Chalamet or one of the Kardashians – who are rumoured to be attending. We can’t wait to find out…
Boy, 14, tragically dies after eating berries on walk at park in Manchester
A coroner has issued a warning
A 14-year-old boy has tragically died after consuming berries while on a family walk at a park in South Manchester.
Benn Curran-Nicholls collapsed and died after eating the berries while on a walk with his dad, the coroner said.
He was poisoned after ingesting leaves and berries from a yew tree in Fletcher Moss Park, in Didsbury.
The inquest heard how the teenager had severe autism and liked the routine of his daily walks with his father in the park where he enjoyed climbing the yew tree – both were unaware of the risks.
After returning home from a walk on September 18th last year, Benn became unwell and ‘slumped’ before his ‘eyes started to roll around his head’ and was rushed to hospital by emergency ambulance.
He was given ‘several hours of medical attention’ at the Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital, where he tragically died, the inquest heard.
A post-mortem concluded Benn had suffered ‘refractory cardiogenic shock’.
Coroner Andrew Bridgman has now issued a report to stress the dangers of eating yew tree berries.
He also criticised the ‘illogical’ decision not to put out a public health warning following Benn’s death.
In the report, Mr Bridgman wrote: “Benn Curran-Nicholls moved to Didsbury with his family from Australia in June 2022.
“Benn suffered severe autism with intellectual impairment, and daily walks in the local parks became part of his daily routine.
“On the morning of September 18th 2022, Benn and his father went for a walk in Fletcher Moss Park where, among other things, there was a yew tree that Benn liked to climb.
“Benn ate some yew tree berries and also some of the leaves. Benn’s father was not aware of the poisonous nature of the yew tree berries/leaves, and so took no action.
“Interestingly, neither was, in his evidence to me, Manchester City Council’s Neighbourhood Manager for Environmental Health aware that yew trees were poisonous.
“Later that day at about 6pm, Benn suddenly collapsed. He was admitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital by emergency ambulance where he died in the early hours of September 19th, 2022.
“Toxicological evidence was that yew tree poisoning in humans was rare, but that a number of cases had been reported.”
Following Benn’s death, discussions took place between the council and the UK Health Security Agency regarding alerting the public to the dangers of yew trees.
An email from UKHSA to the council read: “We agreed at present that there was probably a risk of doing more harm than good from any comms put out, we would be very concerned about unintended consequences from comms messages, e.g. highlighting the risk of harm which may in turn provide a source for people to self-harm as a potential route for suicide.”
The coroner recorded the cause of death as ‘yew tree poisoning’ and described the decision not to issue a warning as ‘illogical’ in his prevention of future deaths report.
In the report, he continued: “Berries and the like might be attractive to young children who would not recognise the dangers and risks, of even illness let alone death. Poisonous nature of the yew tree is not, on the evidence, well known to the public.
“The decision appears to be focused on comms solely about the yew tree and the risks of identifying an additional means of deliberate ingestion for suicide. No consideration was given to highlighting the risks of eating wild berries and/or leaves in more general terms.
“In the circumstance it is my view that the decision not to put out public health messages, either specific to the yew tree or in more general terms, was not properly and fully thought through. It should be re-visited.”
The coroner also asked the council to consider placing signs warning the public about the dangers of yew trees around the park, adding: “There is a risk of a death arising in similar circumstances, and informing the public will clearly reduce the risk of those deaths.
“Perhaps particularly so for a child whose carer would be so informed.”
‘Homeless’ man found dead in city centre shop doorway amid freezing temperatures
Sad news, RIP
A man who was ‘sleeping rough’ has sadly been found dead amid the freezing temperatures.
Emergency services were called to Bloom Street in Manchester’s Gay Village after the man, believed to be homeless, was found shortly after 10am on Sunday, December 3rd.
The man was sadly ‘declared deceased’ in a doorway between the Village Chippy and Roadie’s fast-food takeaway, close to the taxi rank.
Greater Manchester Police say they are not treating his death as suspicious, with the cause of death yet to be determined.
The tragedy followed a yellow weather warning for snow and ice across the North West region, issued by the Met Office.
Officers said the man was found ‘on the street’ although nearby witnesses say he was discovered lying on the steps of a doorway. The man has not been named at this time.
Following the tragic discovery, a police tent was erected at the scene and the street was taped off while officers carried out investigations.
A man who passed by the area at around 9am said he saw the man, who is known in the area, and assumed he was sleeping, it has been reported.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “I spotted him and thought he was sleeping. I’ve been here since this morning.
“A couple came out of the car park opposite and went over to him and he didn’t flinch or move at all so they rung the ambulance.”
A staff member working at a shop close by said they saw police at the scene as they opened up shortly before midday.
A GMP spokesperson said: “At approximately 10.20am on Sunday, December 3rd 2023, officers were called to reports of an incident on Bloom Street in Manchester.
“The body of a man was discovered on the street and he was sadly declared deceased.
“This investigation is in its very early stages and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained. A scene has been put in place and enquires are ongoing.
“Police are not treating the death of the man as suspicious nor is there believed to be any at third-party involvement.”
The age and any further details of the man have not been released at this time and a report is being prepared for the coroner.