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

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
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Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
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A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
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peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
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The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
people
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Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible