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Mystery of hundreds of dead birds falling from the sky finally solved

Interesting…

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@NWPRuralCrime / Twitter

If you cast your mind back to December, you’ll remember we brought you some mysterious news from North Wales, when hundreds of birds fell out of the sky.

The starlings were found dead on a road in Anglesey on Tuesday December 10th 2019, after being spotted by Hannah Stevens.

According to Miss Stevens, a ‘massive flock’ flew overhead before eating something in the road – they died an hour later.

Dafydd Edwards

When Miss Stevens got home she told her partner, Dafydd Edwards, who went down to investigate. Mr Edwards told North Wales Live: “I counted 150 last night but I gave up as there’s just hundreds of them littered everywhere. It’s as if they just dropped down dead from the sky.

“She said she saw hundreds of them flying over and thought it looked amazing but on her way back around an hour later they were all dead in the road. I didn’t believe her so I went to see for myself. It’s very strange, I can’t put my finger on it.”

The North Wales Police’s Rural Crime Team counted 225 dead birds in the road, with some in the hedges alongside it – although bizarrely none of the birds landed in the fields either side.

Officers have now posted an update on the situation, revealing what they think happened to the birds.

In the series of tweets, they start by saying that although the toxicology report isn’t back, they’re ‘quite sure of the reasons and cause of deaths to the birds’.

They continue: “All examined birds had severe internal trauma from impact… The trauma supports the case that the birds died from impact with the road.

“It’s highly likely the murmuration took avoiding action whilst airborne, from possibly a bird of prey with the rear of the group not pulling up in time and striking the ground.

“We still await toxicology, but from speaking to many people, looking at the injuries and previous world wide cases it appears by taking avoiding flight action the murmuration has flown towards the ground and pulled up, but some have not made it”.

Police believe that if the birds had been poisoned, they’d all have been affected by it at different times.

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Huge meteor captured on doorbell camera lighting up the sky over Wigan

‘This particular piece of asteroid spent most of its orbit between Mars and Jupiter’

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nikkinoop & KatieParr78/Twitter

Meteor caught on camera lighting up the sky over Wigan.

The meteor was spotted just before 10pm on Sunday February 28th, and sent a sonic boom across parts of England. Scientists explain that it is likely to have been a small piece of an asteroid entering the Earth’s atmosphere. 

A woman named Nikki posted a video of the meteor on Twitter, captured on her doorbell camera near her home in Appley Bridge on Sunday.

UKFall said the bright light could be seen all the way from Ireland to the Netherlands and is set to break the record as the most reported ever.

Over 758 reports have been made on the International Meteor Organisation’s website already.

UKFall’s Dr Ashley King, said: “The video recordings tell us its speed was about 30,000 miles per hour, which is too fast for it to be human-made ‘space junk’, so it’s not an old rocket or satellite.

“The videos also allowed us to reconstruct its original orbit around the sun. In this case, the orbit was like an asteroid’s.

“This particular piece of asteroid spent most of its orbit between Mars and Jupiter, though sometimes got closer to the Sun than Earth is.”

UKFall also said that it is likely ‘a few fragments’ reached the ground as the meteor fragmented in the atmosphere.

Dr Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester said: “If you do find a meteorite on the ground, ideally photograph it in place, note the location using your phone GPS, don’t touch it with a magnet, and, if you can, avoid touching it with your hands.”

Did you spot the meteor? We’d love to see your videos or photos – share them in the comments on Facebook! 

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All the cute baby animals you’ll be able to see when Chester Zoo reopens

There’s been a baby boom at the zoo

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Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is set to reopen its doors next month and there are plenty of cute baby animals to see.

After a challenging year for Chester Zoo, the news from Boris Johnson last week that means outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks can reopen from April 12th was welcomed.

And over the course of lockdown, there has been a baby boom in the zoo too!

There’s everything to see from tree frogs to penguin chicks and rare baby lemurs.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

Of some of the smallest to see are 12cm long baby Mongoose triplets that were born back in May last year.

Chester Zoo

Even smaller, a pair of Eastern Pygmy Marmosets were born in December measuring just two inches long at the time.

The babies are part of the most miniature primate species on Earth and are normally found in the rainforests of western Brazil, south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru.

Chester Zoo

Some of the largest species at the zoo saw new additions, like the birth of a rare baby rhino. The birth of the Eastern Black Rhino was celebrated globally as fewer than 1,000 remain on the planet.

Chester Zoo

You’ll also find baby penguins born at the start of lockdown last year, plus baby Great Green Macaw Parrot chicks that hatched back in April 2020.

These colourful birds live in the lowland forests of Central and South America with a global population estimated at fewer than 2,500.

In March last year, twin ring-tailed lemurs were born to parents Fiona and Dog.

Rare Mexican frogs were born at Chester Zoo in September – the first of their kind born in a European zoo.

As part of a successful breeding programme, 100 Mexican Leaf Frogs hatched at the zoo after keepers recreated the scorching conditions of their natural environment.

Chester Zoo

A critically endangered Western chimpanzee was born by 43-year-old Mandy in August at Chester Zoo. Normally found in West Africa, there are as few as 18,000 Western chimpanzees remaining in the wild.

It’s also the first subspecies of chimpanzee to be added to the list of critically endangered apes, making this birth vital to the future of the subspecies.

Chester Zoo

A critically endangered Bornean orangutan was born in October, a surprise to keepers as mum Leia had a negative pregnancy test just a few months prior.

Estimates suggest fewer than 55,000 Bornean orangutans remain on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, the only place you can find them in the wild.

Earlier last month, Chester Zoo bosses revealed that the zoo is losing £1.7m a month, totalling to £11.5m in losses if the zoo can reopen on April 12th.

Chester Zoo has been hosting virtual Zoo Days on YouTube and Facebook throughout the pandemic asking people to donate what they can and support the zoo.

Don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to get back to the zoo to see all the cute animals and help support the venue.

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Primark confirms what date it will be reopening after lockdown

The news Primark fans have been waiting for

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Mikey / Flickr

With the details of the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ revealed yesterday by the prime minister, non-essential retail has been given the chance to start planning its reopening.

Non-essential retailers can reopen during the second stage of restriction easing, which will happen no earlier than April 12th.

Retailers which don’t sell ‘essential’ items have been closed since January 4th, and were only able to open sporadically throughout last year.

If the data let’s stage two go ahead on its planned date, then the high street should once again come to life on Monday April 12th.

Gerald England / Geograph

That includes Primark, who has now confirmed that it will be opening stores on April 12th if the government allows it.

A Primark spokesperson told The Sun: “Primark welcomes the news that we have a provisional opening date of April 12th for our stores in England.

“We know our customers will be thrilled and we can’t wait to welcome them back into our stores.

“Our priority will be to do that safely, building on all the lessons we have learnt across our European operations in the past year.”

Joining Primark in reopening on the 12th will be John Lewis, Dunelm, H&M and JD Sport, who all plan to let customers enter stores on the first day it is allowed.

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