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

The polar bear is a beast that taps into our primitive fear of the ultimate predator

I struggle to get my head around the trophy-hunting of polar bears. When hunting is carried out by indiginous Inuit populations for sustenance, that is different. Inuit hunters use every part of the polar bear's body and demonstrate a profound knowledge and respect for the creature. I have yet to meet a trophy-hunter who has had any real respect for an animal.

Rugs, trophies, skulls, teeth – more than 32,000 specimens of polar bear were traded in the last decade

Britain urged to stop supporting the trade in dead polar bears

Environmentalists including Chris Packham and Bear Grylls have urged Britain to drop its support for polar bear trading – claiming that the UK's opposition to a ban has contributed to thousands of the animals being hunted for rugs, trophies and body-parts.

Ice floes off the coast of Greenland. The floes are frozen masses of seawater (saltwater) that float on the surface of the sea. The tracking of ice floes is important to both understanding critical environmental issues such as global warming, and to aid in Arctic navigation. Taken with a Canon EOS-1D X and EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens set to 16mm, exposure was 1/160sec at f/16, ISO400

WWF Arctic conservation expedition gallery

Professional photographer for Canon Europe, Thorsten Milse, recently accompanied the WWF's conservation sailing expedition to the Arctic as part of the WWF Last Ice Area Project.

What should I call my pet? Top Ten Most Popular Dog Names of 2012

Fido will no longer cut it. If you hope to ascend to the upper echelons of glamour, it's not enough to name your children Tabitha and Casper, your pets must also have unique monikers. At least that's on the evidence provided by the top ten most popular dog names of 2012.

Last Night's Viewing - The Polar Bear Family and Me, BBC2; The Truth About Magaluf: Stacey Dooley Investigates, BBC3

"It's a bit of a waiting game," said a polar bear expert in The Polar Bear Family and Me, as he and Gordon Buchanan hunkered down to wait for their subject to do something filmable. But it isn't if you're watching the final film. You don't have to wait for anything, these days, as the opening sequence from last night's episode demonstrated, immediately laying out a bullet-point preview of every moment of wonder and awe that was to follow.

If you ask me...I'm sticking with my 'twosie' - a more toilet-friendly outfit by far

Here's my review of 2012: A lot of stuff happened. It was marvellous

Paloma Faith would put Fifty Shades of Grey in Room 101; comedian Jack Whitehall hates 'glamping'

What gets my goat! 'Room 101' returns

A new set of celebrities reveal their pet hates. Jonathan Owen investigates

Nepalese army hunts elephant that killed four

Soldiers in Nepal are hunting a wild elephant that is terrorising villagers in the south of the country and has killed four people in the past three months.

Making Christmas in the zoo bearable: Video shows animals opening presents at Sydney zoo

Video shows animals getting Christmas presents: but there's not a Furby or iPad in sight...

Matt Dunham Royal winner

Rejoice! An open letter to dear Kate Middleton and Prince William, who are expecting their first child

Including a few tips on how to make the issue of their love appeal to the masses

South Africa is home to about 20,000 rhinos

Poachers' trade in rhino horn is 'pushing species into decline'

Demand in Far East for horn's medicinal qualities drives killings to record levels

US man jailed for six months after 'depraved' fork attack on ex-girlfriend's parrot

Man didn't remember what happened and claimed he may have mixed anti-anxiety medication with whisky and slipped into a blacked-out rage

‘Extinct’ animal turns up in Wales as roadside carcass proves elusive pine martens still exist

One of Britain’s rarest and most elusive animals has been found in Wales, after a hunt lasting more than 40 years – the pine marten.

Animal Collective, The Roundhouse, London

"For us it's not always about just writing a good song" Animal Collective's vocalist Avey Tare once maintained. "We want to play with your ears in terms of colours and space with sound."

Postcard from... Berlin

Berlin likes to honour its animal legends. Knautschke was the name of the city's beloved hippopotamus – a brave creature born in Berlin's zoo at the height of the Second World War, he survived the trauma of the Allied air raids which killed his mother.

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Day In a Page

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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

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Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

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Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

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America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone