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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love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
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The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
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Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
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Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
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Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
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Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
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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
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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