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Colonel Meow, the cat with the longest fur in the world and the brooding face of an evil genius, has sadly passed away.

Natalie Haynes: It's ludicrous, but we want it to be true

London Zoo is currently refurbishing a large area that backs on to Regent's Park. Where once there were camels and a pygmy hippo, now there are diggers. Recently, a sign was added, explaining that they were building the new tiger enclosure there. "Ooh, tigers next to the park," I thought, as I strode past on my way to work. Then, a moment later, "Wait, tigers next to the park?"

Couple who claim to have seen the Essex lion insist the beast is still at large

Just when you though it was safe to go back on Clacton seafront, the couple who sparked a major police hunt after spotting what they believed was a runaway lion insisted the beast was still at large.

Police at Earls Hall Farm in St Osyth this morning

Essex lion hunt called off as police search finds no evidence of big cat

Police have called off a search for a lion reportedly on the loose in Essex.

Still no sign of 'Essex lion' as police helicopter joins the hunt

Police searching for a lion in Essex said today they were taking the hunt seriously.

Report of lion on loose sparks armed police hunt

Police last night warned residents to stay indoors and deployed armed officers and a helicopter after a report that a large cat was running loose in Essex.

ASA clears RSPCA re-homing advert

An ad for the RSPCA's Home for Life service has been cleared following complaints that the charity omitted to mention that it euthanises some animals in its care.

Sex party model jailed for beating girlfriend

A male model was jailed for five years today for beating up his girlfriend after they attended an upmarket Killing Kittens sex party.

Eight-year-old boy‎ 'put cat in microwave'

The RSPCA is investigating a report that an eight-year-old boy put his neighbour's cat into a microwave oven.

LURE OF THE LEOPARD: Andrew Harrington - A young male Amur leopard, a critically endangered species, attempts to scare off a jay at a feeding station in the Russian Far East.

Battle to save wildlife with help of zoos highlighted

One of the world's largest frogs, Britain's only native crayfish and Amur leopards are among the creatures staving off extinction with the help of zoos, it was suggested today.

Scientists prove carnivore extinction theory

The extinction of a carnivore could lead to other predatory species dying out, according to new research.

Rebecca Armstrong: One small cat snuffing it has affected me deeply

FreeView from the editors at i

Ravel's 'L'heure espagnole'

L'heure espagnole/ L'enfant et les sortilèges, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London
The Francis Bacon Opera, Camden Arts Centre, London

Glyndeborne's double bill of Ravel operas captures the composer's delicate touch and ability to combine laughter and pain

Five Questions About: Pet insurance

Why do I need to insure my pet?

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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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
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

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
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

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