News A male Asiatic lion guarding his cub at London Zoo

To most of us, lions are African, but many of the great beasts of legend were Indian. Now a zoo plans to breed more of them

A meerkat peers out from beneath a rock during a stocktake

Animals counted up in London Zoo stocktake

Creatures were given snacks in exchange for having their details recorded by zoo keepers

Sea lions at Whipsnade Zoo have had problems with their eyesight

Whipsnade revamp gives its sea lions eye trouble

Safety report reveals that rises in chlorine in the pool where they perform their popular Splash show has caused deterioration in their vision

Marine biology: Appeal launched to find rare Madagascan fish

A worldwide appeal has been launched to find a mate for the last remaining males of a fish on the brink of extinction. The Mangarahara cichlid, from Madagascar, is believed to have vanished from the wild as a result of the building of dams on the Mangarahara River.

Chilean rose tarantula

A cure for my spider phobia? That doesn't have legs

London Zoo must immediately stop sending me emails inviting me to get up close and personal with eight-legged freaks. Otherwise known as spiders.

Ruth Padel's 'The Mara Crossing' is out now

Talks and tigers are a natural attraction

My book on migration, The Mara Crossing, took seven years. I put the birds and animals first, so their dangerous journeys could show that the drive to find better living conditions is universal and that human migration, a burning political topic everywhere today, is as natural as that of animals. Both are done to survive, both are part of the self-renewing nature of all life.

Romantic tail: London Zoo is boosting seahorse populations

Amorous seahorses: Underwater love at London Zoo

Conservationists encourage animals to mate by supplying the fishy couples with their own private tanks

Richard Clayderman plays to the reptiles in the hope of getting them in the mood

'Prince of Romance' Richard Clayderman called in to encourage tortoises to mate for Valentine's Day

Richard Clayderman, who has been called the 'Prince of Romance', has likely had many odd requests during his successful career as a musician, but surely none as strange as this.

Sir David Attenborough's secret guilt: He used to be a butterfly-collector

He is the world’s most famous defender of the natural world – but for years, Sir David Attenborough harboured a secret guilt about it.

Simon Kelner: The A-Z of Britain in stamps? I want to see them all

Philately has never got me anywhere, although my early interest in stamp-collecting means I still take an interest in matters relating to postage stamps. As a boy, I loved everything about stamps: they were like miniature works of art (the good ones, anyway), and I found them a much more interesting and engaging way to learn about geography.

22 years for drug'n'fish smugglers

Two men have been jailed for trying to smuggle cocaine into Britain in bags of live tropical fish.

London Zoo stocktake under way

They can dive, swim and glide but even the penguins at London Zoo will find it difficult to hide from keepers who have the tricky but essential task of counting every animal in their care.

Widow loses bid to claim surviving zoo animals

Six exotic animals that survived a police hunt after being freed by their owner before he killed himself will be kept in quarantine at a zoo, not returned to his widow, Ohio's department of agriculture has ordered.

Getting straight to the root of a feline problem

When an enormous Siberian tiger has a toothache, you need to find a very brave dentist.

Lions, tigers and camels on the loose in rural Ohio

A sheriff said he gave orders to shoot to kill because he had to put the safety of residents first

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