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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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
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How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
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The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss