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

Zoo forced to shut as 30 chimps escape

Chester Zoo was evacuated this afternoon after 30 chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure. The animals found their way into a keeper area where their food is prepared at 12.40pm. More than 5,000 visitors were asked to leave the 110-acre zoo shortly afterwards, as keepers rounded up the chimps. There were no injuries to members of the public or staff and the decision was taken purely as a precautionary measure, the zoo said in a statement. "We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to our visitors and would thank them for their full co-operation and patience," the statement said. The zoo has more than 1.3 million visitors a year and has been named by Forbes as one of the best 15 zoos in the world.

Bodyguard claims Jackson had girlfriend

Michael Jackson had a secret long-term girlfriend and fell victim to a series of unscrupulous private physicians, his British former bodyguard claimed today.

Britain braced for another sizzler

Baking Britain was set to hit record temperatures again today as the country sweltered in the grip of heatwave conditions.

LA zoo wanted Chinese snub-nosed monkeys. Instead it got a Chinese snub

It cost millions of taxpayer dollars, contains artificial trees with especially springy limbs, and was almost certainly the world's first animal enclosure to get a feng shui makeover. But the swanky new monkey house at Los Angeles Zoo has one very important thing missing – monkeys.

Queen's trunk call gives depressed Susi new home

Susi the elephant is sad and bored. She paces to and fro in her small pen in Barcelona Zoo, swinging her head and trunk anxiously from side to side. She has even started eating her own faeces in stress and frustration.

Orangutan's great escape causes zoo evacuation

A 137 pound orangutan with a history of mischief short-circuited an electric barrier, then built a makeshift ladder to escape from her enclosure, forcing Adelaide Zoo to be evacuated on one of its busiest days of the year.

Afghanistan's only pig quarantined in flu fear

Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu.

Hitler has only got one bull (and it's alive and well in the West Country)

Ancient breed resurrected by Nazis to 'purify' the countryside set up home here

Woman bitten by polar bear after jumping into enclosure

Police say a woman jumped into a polar bear enclosure at Berlin Zoo and was bitten several times on her arms and legs.



Polish politician fumes over 'gay' elephant

A Polish politician has criticised his local zoo for acquiring a "gay" elephant named Ninio who prefers male companions and will probably not procreate, local media reported today.

The great white hunted: plight of albino animals

Rare albino animals in the wild are being preyed on by bounty hunters eager to scoop up 10 times the amount paid for more common creatures. Paul Bignell reports

Mystery solved of elephant in Belfast back yard

A mystery Belfast woman who cared for a baby elephant in her back garden during the war years has finally been identified.

Howard Jacobson: What do you do if you've got too much time on your hands? Start a fight

The boredom of existence explains our going astray in nine cases out of 10

Free at last – Rita the manatee goes home

It’s no easy task to release back into the wild a rare sea cow weighing 3,000lb after 26 years in captivity, reports Michael McCarthy
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee