Sparky shares joy —>
Gorillas born at wildlife parks
Western lowland gorillas could be extinct by 2020
Two wildlife parks in Kent are celebrating the birth of endangered western lowland gorillas.
The babies were born at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, which are part of the Aspinall Foundation.
Nkoumou, a male, was 13-year-old Boma's firstborn, bringing the number of gorillas at Howletts, near Canterbury, to 51.
Mumba, a 22-year-old gorilla, gave birth to her third baby at Port Lympne, near Hythe, last weekend.
Lorna Wanless, head of the gorilla section at Howletts, said: "We are fortunate to be able to care for and work with so many of this endangered species and pleased to see that mum and baby are showing real signs of bonding."
There are thought to be no more than 100,000 Western lowland gorillas left in the wild.
A park spokesperson said they would be extinct by 2020 if decline - mainly due to deforestation, the Ebola virus and the bush meat trade - continues at the present rate.
The Aspinall Foundation's breeding scheme is part of a rescue and rehabilitation programme for captive-born gorillas in the Congo and Gabon.
Literary cat makes library visits
Fidel the cat spends his days at Deal library while his owners are at work
A Kent library has been visited almost every day for two years by its own "puss in books", the council has said.
Fidel, an eight-year-old black cat, turns up at Deal library almost every day while his owners are at work.
He spends the day on his favourite blue chair, only leaving the building when he sees his owners arriving home.
Staff say they have never tried to encourage Fidel with food and even used to put him outside when he first began to visit them, but he always came back.
Heather Hilton, district manager for Deal Library, said: "Fidel certainly seems to like coming here and he's very popular with our customers.
"I think he's a bit of an art critic too because we sometimes see him examining the pictures on the gallery wall," she added.
A spokeswoman for Kent County Council which runs the library said Fidel was such a "dedicated customer" that he sometimes arrived before staff and could be found waiting at the front door.
Fidel is a rescue cat, whose owners chose him from a local sanctuary after he was found abandoned in a flat in Deal.
- @stsparky meets Ebb - 03/28/09
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