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

'It's very big, fast and angry... and it came with my online shopping'

Zoo experts stumped after woman hands in mystery spider species

Stem cells give hope for rare species

Scientists have taken the first tentative steps towards conserving some of the world's most endangered species with the help of stem-cell technology, which could lead to the generation of sperm and eggs from skin cells.

Mark Avery: It demeans us when we let a species die

On 1 September 1914 a bird known as Martha died in a cage in Cincinnati Zoo and the passenger pigeon was extinct. Newspapers across the world marked the event but nearly 100 years later should we give Martha a moment's thought? Indeed, why should we care about extinctions?

Leading article: Are zoos justified?

One of the advantages of the science of animal behaviour, which was founded 60 years ago by Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz, is that it has let us understand something of the essence of wild creatures: how they go about their normal lives in their natural state. It has also correspondingly enabled us to see, for the first time, that some behaviours exhibited by the animals we keep in captivity are not normal at all. Indeed, as we report today in the case of chimpanzees, they can be examples of considerable distress, or even incipient madness; and the cause seems to be captivity itself.

Zoo to breed chimpanzees despite cruelty warning

A Scottish zoo is planning to start a new breeding programme for chimpanzees, in the wake of recent research suggesting that captivity drives chimps mad.

In the Dust, Zoo Southside, Edinburgh

There's an immediate energy to In the Dust, a new triple bill by 2Faced Dance Company. This all-male troupe mixes hip-hop moves with contemporary dance, creating a muscular, confident style. These works show none of the joins that can plague crossover projects. The dancers have an easy athleticism, at home with everything from street dance acrobatics to mooching contemporary steps.

Natalie Haynes: Bartender! A stiff drink for those mothers

Start the week ...

Robert Hanks: Lions aren't just big pussy cats – they're dignified and dangerous

News from the Daily Mail that Alexander Pylyshenko, owner of a small private zoo in Vasylivka, Ukraine, is to spend five weeks living in a cage with two lions.

Can an ape learn to be human?

As two new films explore the human-like behaviour of chimpanzees, Steve Connor explains the fascination – and fear – we have about our closest living relatives

Rhino horn thefts blamed on Irish gang

An organised crime gang from Ireland is masterminding illegal trade in rhino horns around the world.

DVD: The Nicolas Philibert Collection (12)

The standout here is the ineffably lovely Être et Avoir, Philibert's documentary which charts the infinitely patient Monsieur Georges Lopez's final year of teaching in a village primary school in the Auvergne region.

Rare parrots bred at zoo after 19 years

Zoo keepers have succeeded in breeding three rare parrots after 19 years of trying. The Philippine cockatoo chicks are being hand-reared at Chester Zoo in Cheshire after they were hatched in incubators.

Endoscopy for penguin stranded in New Zealand

An Antarctic penguin which ended up stranded and eating sand on a New Zealand beach is recovering after a very human treatment - an endoscopy.

Stranded penguin is moved to zoo

After planning to let nature take its course, wildlife officials yesterday moved a stranded emperor penguin from a New Zealand beach to Wellington Zoo after its health worsened.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn