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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Prince William recently established United for Wildlife, an alliance of seven leading conservation bodies, to try to end poaching

Prince William calls for end to 'greed-driven poaching epidemic'

The Duke of Cambridge yesterday called on the world to halt Africa's "poaching epidemic" after he joined Labour leader Ed Miliband in becoming the latest public figures to back The Independent on Sunday's Christmas appeal.

Elephant Appeal: The continent I fell in love with may be changed forever

My two sons may never experience Africa and its wildlife like I had the chance to

Why animal charity matters: Helping livestock victims of natural disasters helps people too

Despite possible appearances some animal charities have got their priorities right

Merry Christmas! Here's a snake in a hat.

There's a snake in my hat! Snakes in tiny headgear becomes latest pet trend

Snakes in hats has become the latest pet trend to take online forums by storm, take a look at some of the most stylish here

Postcard from... Brussels

There are only a few thousand of them left in the wild and fewer in captivity, but another snow leopard was lost this week when Belgian authorities were forced to shoot one that escaped from a zoo in the east of the country.

Some lions in the zoo in 2006 - animal-rights activists have long been concerned about conditions at Giza

‘Hell for animals’: Egypt's Giza Zoo beset by tear gas, bear ‘riots’ and giraffe ‘suicide’

Animal-rights activists have long been concerned about conditions there

Elephant Appeal: Why conservation is about forging a friendship

Farmers have had crops repeatedly destroyed by marauding elephants

Mass killings traumatise young elephants

A recent study has drawn links between mass culls or poaching of elephant herds and elephant psychological trauma

Giant rampaging pig smashes through fence and breaks a pensioner’s leg and wrist in Devon woodlands

The angry 600lb boar attacked a 74-year-old woman who was out feeding her friend’s animals

Six facts about elephant families

The large mammals have intricate social networks

Dogs recognise their owners' faces - but prefer looking at other dogs

Dogs may have a similar facial recognition skills to those of humans

US father and son plead guilty to shooting neighbour's dog because it was 'annoying'

The father then harassed the dog's owner in the street after it was killed 

Man charged after dangling dog out of window by leash 'because it was raining too hard to take it for a walk'

Tyler Smith, 23, was reported to be looking after pet dog Max while his parents were away

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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz