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

End of the furry tale: the life and death of Knut

The treatment of the famous polar bear provoked heated debate, reports Steve Connor

Knut the celebrity polar bear dies

Fans of polar bear Knut flocked to lay flowers Sunday outside his zoo enclosure, mourning the sudden death of a bear who burst into the limelight as a cuddly, fluffy cub hand-fed by his keeper.

Benda Bilili! (PG)

The term "life-affirming" has lost its significance through overuse; this documentary restores us to its real meaning.

Cooper Brown: The Zoo

Bad news – it turns out Victoria’s Australian nanny, the one who got dumped by the Greek guy by text, flew back to Oz today. Victoria rang me up and she’s all sobbing and I immediately think that something has happened to H-F?

Crocodile Hunter's zoo battling to remain open

When Australia's self-styled "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin, was killed by a stingray's barb, his family pledged to continue his conservation work. Less than five years on, though, the wildlife park he turned into a global tourist attraction is rumoured to be drowning in debt and on the verge of closure.

Jamrach's Menagerie, By Carol Birch

Although Carol Birch's new novel derives from a real-life incident – the sinking of the whale-ship Essex in 1820 – and, in Charles Jamrach (1815-1891), hovers over a genuine personage, two of its chief references are straightforwardly literary. The first is Thackeray's ballad of maritime cannibalism "Little Billee". The second is the celebrated Jack London short story in which, as a gang of ship-wrecked sailors grimly debate their chances of survival, the rescue boat heaves into view five minutes after the cabin boy's throat has been cut. All this is to ignore a series of semaphore signals to the literature of the nautical East End that takes in everything from Our Mutual Friend and Thomas Burke's Limehouse Nights to Arthur Morrison's thriller The Hole in the Wall.

Video: Baby gorilla tries to walk

A three month old baby gorilla has been caught on camera at London Zoo taking his first steps.

Conservation Dogs: eco researchers

Dogs' sniffing powers have helped to detect bombs and smell signs of cancer. Now they're being used to track down endangered wildlife. Sue Corfield reports

Steve Backshall: Where the wild things are

Raging hippos, angry tigers, killer worms... It's no wonder Steve Backshall's wildlife show Deadly 60 is a jungle-sized hit with the kids. Nick Harding explores why

Endangered species: Cull to be kind?

When breeding programs are successful, endangered species are saved from extinction. But if too many animals are born, zoos have to take drastic steps

Video: Pandas granted US extension

China has extended a diplomacy agreement with the US, allowing two pandas to stay longer at Washington National Zoo.

Panda Power! Edinburgh awaits the patter of tiny paws

With news that China is sending two of its animal ambassadors to Scotland, David Randall looks at the subtleties of panda diplomacy

Chinese panda pledge 'symbol of friendship'

China said today it will gift Britain a pair of giant pandas as vice premier Li Keqiang marked the second day of his official visit to the UK with the signing of trade deals worth an estimated £2.6 billion.

Dom Joly: Welcome to my glass menagerie

I'm in Indonesia, on the island of Sulawesi, on a two-week trip to teach my daughter to scuba dive. I have a friend, Kaj, who is a scuba dive master and, whenever he moves to a new job we go and visit him. "You'll love this new place," he told me on Skype. "It's world-famous for muck diving and there are loads of weird creatures totally unique to here."

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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