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Schoolgirl battles severe anxiety with help from her two kittens
Amy’s confidence and happiness slowly started to return as her bond with her new pets grew.

Rafiki and Zazu were adopted from the charity Mayhew

A young schoolgirl battling severe anxiety has had her life turned around by two rescue kittens.

Twelve-year-old Amy suffered a shattering loss of self confidence and severe anxiety after being bullied at school. Things eventually deteriorated so much that she was signed off school by her GP.

Amy’s mother Sophie felt helpless, with no idea how to turn things around. When her daughter was signed off school, it was a relief to have some respite from the bullying, but Sophie worried that Amy would spiral even further into worry and sadness if she was at home all day with no friends to interact with.

However, the family had recently adopted two kittens - Rafiki and Zazu - from the charity Mayhew. The pair quickly became Amy’s best friends, and a positive force in her life.

Amy’s confidence and happiness slowly started to return as her bond with her new pets grew. Her general mood was significantly improved and her panic and anxiety attacks became far less frequent.

Sophie said: “Amy was bullied at school, which led to her developing mental health issues including anxiety. She’d even suggested ending her own life, and it was a terrifying time for the family. Luckily, we had just adopted two rescue kittens from Mayhew, and when the doctors signed Amy off school, their bond just grew.

“The kittens gave Amy a reason to get up in the morning, and a reason to smile. She now laughs at their funny games and gives them cuddles; and she is already a much happier person all round. Having the kittens to love has made a huge difference to Amy’s mental health, and we are both so thankful to Mayhew, Rafiki and Zazu.”

Image © Mayhew

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.