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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links