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Schoolteacher William Buchman was arrested after officers found over 300 living and dead snakes inside his property

Revealed, the ugliest animal on earth: the humble Blobfish

Other contenders for the prize included the axolotl and the pig-nosed turtle

New Zealand is match-fit after winning the Louis Vuitton elimination series and seemed to have a slight speed edge upwind

New Zealand put on flawless display to take early advantage in America's Cup

The 50 stars and 13 stripes of the United States defender were given a painful battering by the four stars and union flag of New Zealand in the opening pair of the America’s Cup in San Francisco. The first race looked at one time to be really close and the defender, Oracle, at one time took the lead.

The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast

Other contenders for the prize include the pubic louse and the pig-nosed turtle

Revealed: The 'gruelling' journey of live sheep exports from North of England to France

Sheep are being transported for up to 18 hours in hot, cramped conditions from the North of England to France, a charity’s investigation into live animal exports has found.

Man banned from every farm in the country after admitting sex with goat

Wiltshire man pleads guilty to breaking Sexual Offences Act, sentencing due in September

In captivity the male giant panda is more interested in bamboo than in mating

Panda sex exposé: Why does the male struggle to perform his duty in captivity?

Roger Dobson gets the bear facts

New species of mammal identified in jungles of Ecuador – the world's first new carnivore in 35 years

Olinguito described as a cross between 'a teddy bear and a house cat'

Yang Guang the panda at Edinburgh Zoo

Bamboo and a long lie-in as Yang Guang - the UK’s only male panda - turns 10

The UK’s only male panda was treated to a lie-in and a meal of his favourite variety of bamboo on his 10th birthday today.

The body of a reclusive woman was eaten by her own cats as she lay undiscovered in her home for several weeks, an inquest has heard.

Reclusive woman eaten by pet cats as body lay undiscovered in home

Janet Veal’s body was found with parts 'gnawed and eaten' by animals that had been left without food for up to three months.

The Amazon’s eco-systems have been damaged

How extinction of five-tonne sloths slows up growth along the Amazon

Region now lacking the fertilising effect provided by South America's distinctive 'mega-fauna' - which has led to a serious imbalance of soil minerals

One Minute With: Brian Thompson, autobiographer

Where are you now and what can you see?

Pet food giant under fire over bear-baiting sponsorship

Animal welfare campaigners uncover evidence that Mars subsidiary Royal Canin sponsored illegal contest in Ukraine, where dogs were set on bears

Video footage shows Digg founder and internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose rescuing pet dog 'Toaster' from rampaging raccoon

Footage has been viewed over 2.5m times on YouTube since it was posted

Eye contact: Predators in the Pyrenees?
Bovine TB has risen dramatically over the past few decades and badgers have been implicated in the rapid spread of the disease

As well as cull, contraceptives lined up for badgers in battle against farm TB

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson pledged to eradicate disease from English cattle within 25 years

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine