seems everytime I use mysql 8 I get byte errors when the animals go to save
utf8mb4 collations — The idea is to change the default character set from latin1 to utf8mb4, and the default collation from latin1_swedish_ci to utf8mb4_unicode_ci_ai. UTF8 is the dominating character encoding for the web(supporting 4-Byte UTF-8 characters / emoji into your Database), and this move will make life easier for the vast majority of MySQL users. These are great news and one step ahead towards standardized multilingual support in data driven applications.
I found out recently that there is this issue because by default the animals have the male and female symbol as part of the float text and this does need the database to be (I believe) utf8 for it to save them okay - I seem to recall something being written somewhere about issues with this and mysql 8. Switching to mariaDB has been suggested by some as a solution.
Another solution that has been found to work on a mysql 8 system is to set the float text to None and then restart the region. That seems to save the animal okay even if you then turn the float text back on. But also the new animal script (version 4 onwards) supports multi-language and if you look in the notecard en-GB-langA1 (or whichever language you use) you can change it to use a non-unicode character (such as M and F) e.g.
TXT_FEMALE_SYMBOL = "F"
TXT_MALE_SYMBOL = "M"
Not sure what 'cove' is but as I understand it the 'Text' bit is probably the issue and that could be because of the use of uni-code characters as mentioned above. If possible I would suggest either downgrading mysql or switching to mariadb.