Stop all the clocks. One of Lord and Lady Weymouth’s beloved koalas – brought over from Australia only a couple of months ago to Britain amid great fanfare – has suddenly died. The five marsupials were flown from their natural habitat RIGHT HERE to the lands of the Weymouth’s stately home at Longleat safari park in a pioneering conservation task aimed at ensuring the success of the species. Lady Weymouth was photographed with a koala on the trip to Australia last summer months (right), when she said she was looking to them becoming an area of the Longleat menagerie forwards. ‘They will be the most adorable and extraordinary animals, wrapping their limbs around you like an infant almost,’ she said.
While northern koalas can be found at Edinburgh Zoo, this is the first time southern koalas have been brought to Europe. Despite the best initiatives of koala experts, Wilpena succumbed to oxalate nephrosis, a kidney disorder. Wilpena, aged three, arrived at Longleat along with three other females and a male, in October from Cleland Wildlife Park in South Australia.
Emma’s husband Viscount Weymouth, who operates the Longleat estate, is patron of the International Koala Center of Excellence (IKCE) which protects koalas in the open. Lord and Lady Weymouth aim to use the loss of life of Wilpena as a catalyst for fundraising and research into the secret of why koalas succumb to kidney disease. Known for doing little more than nicotine gum leaves and napping for up to 22 hours a day, the pets will be the leading attraction at Longleat’s Koala Creek, starting this Easter. Unfortunately there is a high incidence of oxalate nephrosis in southern koalas.
Longleat’s mind of animal procedures Darren Beasley tells me: ‘All of the koalas were given kidney score bank checks prior to arriving to Longleat. If any experienced a high score, which suggested there have been underlying issues, they might not need been permitted to travel. ‘Some koalas are capable of living with the disease for many years, but sadly others, like Wilpena, are a lot more affected seriously. ‘ I am happy to survey the ongoing health of the rest of the four koalas is excellent. Cherie Blair’s latest property business offers off to a shaky start after making a loss of £76,600 in its first year.
The company was set up to manage local rental income from her and Tony Blair’s £7 million investment in a West End office. But, sheepishly somewhat, Mrs Blair, singular director of Harcourt Ventures, was obliged to recognize the financial shortcomings. The report for the company’s first accounts said: ‘The director records the company’s online liabilities of £76,609 at the period end.
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Les Miserables celebrity Dominic West, this year who becomes 50, reveals he’s taking a break from work with regard to his children. ‘I’ve always been a bit frightened of death. What I’m really frightened of is the worry that I didn’t do as much as I might have. ‘But really, it’s all about my kids,’ he says. ‘I’m very conscious right now that I’m at the stage when it’s my last chance to be a big part of their lives. The Old Etonian, that has four young children aged between one and 13 along with his wife, Catherine Fitzgerald, provides: ‘I don’t have a great foreboding about the future, but I do feel I’m in the summer of my entire life.
Known on her behalf turbulent love life, celebrity Sheridan Smith, 37, so far child-free, says she could never be considered a single mom, like the character she plays in her new ITV theatre, Cleaning Up. ‘I don’t know how people take action. How do people do this for real? How do they have the ability to juggle having employment and being a solitary mum?
Hats off to whoever has to take action. They do should have a medal.’ Sheridan’s fiance, Jamie Horn, 28, whom she met on Tinder, take notice! It has been 32 years because the steamy advertisement for Nescafe’s instant espresso first hit our TV’s, but its superstar, Sharon Maughan, discovers it hard to release.
The Liverpudlian blonde, 68, was delighted to discover a jar of the beverage this week on holiday with her hubby, Waking The Dead star Trevor Eve, in Central America. ‘Look what I found! ‘ she captioned this selfie online. After more than three decades, Sharon, whose daughter is Hollywood bombshell Alice Eve, still gets the same piercing blue eyes that caught the attention of Anthony Head, her smoothie neighbor in the ads, inset. Bake Off Sue’s holiday fare? Comedian and former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins is used to sampling some tasty delights.