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Paper Monitor

14:38 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

They're usually cute, often furry and most look good in pictures. Yep, there's an overdose of animal magic going on in today's papers.

The Times trumpeted the rise of the red squirrel on Brownsea Island after a 50-year effort to wipe out the rhododendron responsible for the rodent's demise.

The pink-flowered plants dominated the landscape, wiping out the food supply. That, along with a grey American cousin that subjected it to Squirrelpox. After that double whammy, the species was left in dire straits. Now more than 250 scurry around the Dorset nature reserve. Hurrah!

A known fan of cute animal pictures, the Daily Mail features a young red deer, presumably protecting itself from the danger of extinction, in London with a laurel wreath of ferns wrapped around its antlers. Ahhh.

The Times has the story of the clever Kandula, an elephant living in the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington. He is pictured having a "eureka moment" as he realised, after seven days, that nudging a crate under a fruit-bearing tree with his trunk and putting his two front legs on it means he can get at the fruit.

So, you may ask? Seven days does seem a rather long time to work that out. But this is the first evidence that pachyderms can solves problems, say researchers. He's "boxing clever" says the paper. Groan says Paper Monitor.

Another animals story in the Times is about French conservationists making an effort to revive the brown bear population in the Pyrenees. But one Frenchman's friend is a Spanish farmer's fury. The paper quotes a local authority spokesman: "Their presence only causes problems. France did not ask us if we wanted them."

Tough. Was the rhododendron asked its view on bringing back the red squirrel?

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