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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz