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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Rhino horn stolen from Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley

Item believed to have been cut from stuffed head in Cork mansion safari room

Saltwater crocodiles can weigh up to a ton

Boy attacked by crocodile feared dead as 'human remains' are found

A search team looking for a 12-year-old boy who was snatched by a crocodile have reportedly discovered human remains near the waterhole where he was swimming in Australia.

The altercation allegedly broke out during a dispute over whose turn it was to pat the park's koalas

Man 'threatened with knife at Australian wildlife park over whose turn it was to pat Koalas'

A pleasant day out to a wildlife park reportedly turned sour when a visitor was accused of assaulting a man and threatening him with a knife – apparently because it was his turn to pat the koalas.

Hannah and Chico take the long way round Wales

One woman and her donkey in Wales

How one travel-writer's innovative journey round the Welsh coast led to a starring role for her four-legged companion

The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Nikita the Steller's sea eagle on the loose in Yorkshire Dales

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

Australia: First shark killed as controversial culling policy begins

The three-metre animal, believed to be a female tiger shark, was caught on bait lines and shot in the head four times at close range

elephants in rain

Good fences make good neighbours in Kenya

Protecting habitat and engaging the local community are crucial for both rhinos and elephants, says Christian Lambrechts, the managing director of Rhino Ark

Actual Jurassic Park Velociraptor cage for sale on eBay complete with Velociraptor

Prop was used in the film's opening sequence

A male Asiatic lion guarding his cub at London Zoo

London Zoo to increase pride of Asiatic lions and fund conservation work in India to save dwindling wild population

To most of us, lions are African, but many of the great beasts of legend were Indian. Now a zoo plans to breed more of them

Supply and demand: White rhinos at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy, Limpopo, South Africa

Protesters lock horns with China over ivory as campaigners look into buyers

Gone are the days when a “Save the Rhino” advert was enough. Only about 25,000 rhinos are left in the wild, and thanks to poaching the species is critically endangered. Now, in an effort to drive down demand, conservationists are working on campaigns to understand what makes rhino horn consumers tick.

'He's behind you!' Bob McKeown was unaware of the bear.

Scottish couple come face-to-face with bear on holiday in California

Man did not notice bear until he felt 'something brush against his leg'

Travel special 2014: Escape the bustle of London on a rail journey to Pen-y-Bont

The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

David Cameron visited East Anglia at the times of the floods to see the damage and meet members of the local emergency services

Parts of East Anglia could be abandoned to the sea forever after recent floods

Repairing or improving flood defences is so expensive that areas of countryside which are still under water could be deserted, says Environment Agency

Sloth mystery solved: How moths and algae shape this unusual creature's toilet habits

Why sloths descend from the safety of the trees once a week to go to the toilet has baffled scientists - but one specialist thinks he has the answer

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'