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

Baby sloth hand fed after mother's milk dries

Keepers are giving round-the-clock treatment to the latest addition to a zoo's population after her mother became ill and could not produce enough milk to feed her.

Zoo chairman quits after 'malicious' attacks

With fewer than 2,500 giant pandas left in the wild and 312 living in captivity, every breeding pair is vital to the continued survival of the species. Little wonder that the imminent arrival in Britain of a couple with a successful reproductive history – the first pandas to be in the UK for 17 years – has been eagerly anticipated by conservationists and animal lovers.

Former adviser attacks circus animals 'failure'

The Government's failure to ban wild animals in circuses has been criticised by a former expert adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Bill Callahan, Barbican Centre, London

Animals are a recurrent presence in Bill Callahan's songs. Cattle, bees, birds, buffalo and horses abound, romping through his oeuvre either literally or as strange metaphors – as in "Universal Applicant" from his new album, Apocalypse, in which a small menagerie laughs at the singer as he manages to burn his own boat with a flare gun.

Gillespie and I, By Jane Harris

The opening of Jane Harris's clever and entertaining second novel gives little indication of how dark it will become. Harriet Baxter, a cultured and refined woman approaching her 80th year, sits in her London flat in 1933 writing a memoir of events that happened in Glasgow in 1888. We are addressed directly as "Reader", as in a Victorian novel, such words as "sojourn" are used, and the writing is measured and stately. Yet a faint tinge of something wild and overwrought underlies.

Tokyo says goodbye to Molly

Molly, the world's oldest captive orang-utan, died yesterday at the age of 59 at Tokyo's Tama Zoological Park. She arrived at Ueno Zoological Gardens, also in Japan's capital, from Indonesia in 1955 aged three. In the past decade, she had become well known in the country as an artist after developing a talent for drawing with crayons.

Heads Up: The Government Inspector

Barratt's break – from Mighty Boosh to nightly boards

Investment Column: Smiths News faces structural challenges

NetPlay TV; Zoo Digital

Berlin Zoo tells loyal Knut fans to get stuffed

Plans to put the dead polar bear's carcass on display have angered followers worldwide

Virus may have killed polar bear

Berlin Zoo's celebrity polar bear, Knut, drowned after swelling of his brain caused him to collapse and fall into a pool in his enclosure, a post-mortem examination has found.

Grant Museum of Zoology: A new animal necropolis

They stare lifelessly from every shelf: platypus, slipper lobster, flying fox, penguin, pocket gopher, hagfish, tiger, tapir, koala, sea squirt, elephant, tree shrew, dodo, armadillo and thousands more. Elsewhere, 18 baby moles are crammed in a jar, like hairy gobstoppers in a sweet shop.

New Yorkers bitten by story of escaped cobra

The highly strung citizens of New York have yet another reason to feel on edge this morning: one of the world's most venomous creatures has escaped from its secure enclosure at The Bronx Zoo.

The Bargain Hunter: Kitchen essentials

Bargain Hunter regulars will be pleased to hear that Giordano Wines' incredible food, drink and kitchenware offer has returned for a third time. The offer is one of the most popular to have appeared in this column and, this time around, features eight Italian red wines, four Italian white wines, a selection of Italian delicacies (including grissini breadsticks, traditional tajarin egg noodles, cantucci biscuits, olive sauce, artichoke cream and sun-dried tomatoes with capers) and the incredible "amazing table" selection – a six-piece cook and serve dinner set decorated in a traditional Mediterranean style. The whole package is available for a staggering £59.95, including free delivery, although it continues only as long as current stocks last.

Brain problems led to Knut's death

Brain problems apparently caused the shockingly early death of Knut, Germany's four-year-old celebrity polar bear, the Berlin Zoo said Tuesday.

Zoo accused of contributing to Knut's death

Animal rights groups have sharply criticised Berlin's zoo, saying that the way the polar bear Knut was raised and held in captivity could have led to his death at such a young age.

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...