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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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam