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PEMBROKESHIRE ZOO WELCOMES WALES’ ONLY LION PRIDE

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Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo had a special delivery of six lions to their growing family of animals this week.The pride of African lions is headed up by one adult male lion Hugo, his mate Luna and their four cubs, Sola, Zahra, Alika, and Ebele, who the new lion keepers had the privilege of naming.Hugo is six years old and was born in Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside before meeting his mate Luna at Longleat Safari Park. Five year old Luna was born in Blackpool Zoo she gave birth to four cubs nine months ago while at Longleat. Hugo and his gang set off from Longleat Safari Park on Tuesday morning and arrived at the zoo around lunchtime and are now settling well into their new Welsh home.Two members of the Longleat team stayed to help with the transition period and to provide a full handover to the new keepers.Tim Morphew, zoo manager at Folly Farm, said: “Andy Hayton, the head of cats at Longleat Safari Park, was extremely impressed with how smooth the transition was on Tuesday and how calm Hugo and his family seemed with the move.

“It will take a while for the lions to completely settle in as the new enclosure doesn’t smell of lions yet, once they start exploring and marking their territory, they’ll feel right at home.”

The arrival of the pride marks the completion of a £500,000 project to build a purpose-built, state-of-the-art thugowo-acre enclosure for the lions at Folly Farm. It also highlights the valuable work the attraction already does with UK charity Wildlife Vets International as part of its commitment to conservation, raising awareness and funds for in-situ big cat conservation projects.  Rosie Badger the newly appointed lion keeper, said: “Everybody at Folly Farm was so emotional when the lions actually arrived; I actually shed a tear. After months of preparation, training and visits to Longleat it was so great to see Hugo and his family in our enclosure.“On the first night the lions were quite tired from their journey and they spent the first few hours slowly exploring their new den. They ate around 10 kilograms of raw beef for their first meal and the cubs cuddled up to Luna.“It was a good sign that they were prepared to eat within hours of arriving in Wales and we are hoping that they will be ready to meet the public from the third week of July.”The new two acre lion enclosure is made up of four dens/bedrooms and visitors will be able to see the lions clearly in the house through large glass viewing windows.Visitors will be able to enjoy clear and unrestricted views of the lions from three vantage points surrounding the outside enclosure.Alongside the lion house is an education centre, themed as a fully-equipped ranger’s hut, which will provide visitors with information on African lions and the work carried out by rangers in the wild to monitor and protect them.There will also be real life footage of an African Savannah and audio to help place young animal lovers in the natural habitat of the lions and deliver conservation messages about the threats facing lions in the wild.

 

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

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A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby

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A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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