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

Miffy rules: Celebrating 55 years of our favourite Easter bunny

For 55 years, Dick Bruna's Miffy has been delighting children and adults alike. Rebecca Armstrong celebrates a very special rabbit

Zookeeper hospitalised after Giraffe headbutt

A US zookeeper was treated at a hospital for minor head injuries and released after butting heads with a giraffe.

Probe launched after giraffe was dismembered

A giraffe was dismembered and placed in a rubbish bin following its death, and an outraged US mayor ordered an investigation into it.

China's Shenyang Zoo closed after tigers starve to death

Employee accuses bosses of making drink from bones of endangered animal

Knut should be castrated, say animal activists

Peta calls for polar bear to undergo operation 'to prevent risk of inbreeding'

Oliver McCall: Fighting a losing battle

The former world heavyweight champion was working towards a last shot at the big time – until he wound up behind bars. As he awaits his fate, Steve Bunce tells the tale of a doomed struggle against cocaine

London Zoo calls time on park's football fest

Proposal for World Cup jamboree in Regent's Park scrapped after zoo staff raise animal welfare concerns

Dan Sabbagh: Lads mags <i>should not</i> be singled out for attention

Linda Papadopoulos is no stranger to the "hyper-sexualisation" of British society of which she complains. She once appeared as an expert pundit on My Big Breasts and Me, and has her own beauty range, which you can buy via the home shopping channel QVC. So quite why all this makes her want to make "lads' mags" harder to buy is a mystery.

Not so Dumbo: scientists crack elephant code

San Diego study shows animals use low frequencies as a 'secret vocabulary'

Prokofiev, The Gambler, Royal Opera House, London

Like some kind of cosmic roulette wheel Prokofiev’s mighty orchestra starts whirring as the word “Casino” appears, writ large in dozens of flashing bulbs.

For sale: Gaza zoo where the zebras were not all they seemed

Israeli blockade leaves animals starving and owners with no choice but to sell up

Biodome plan will bring Congo to Cheshire

Sanctuary for endangered animals would make Chester zoo one of top five in world

Man guilty of attempting to have sex with rottweiler

A North Wales man was found guilty yesterday of attempting to have sex with a rottweiler.

Album: Terry Riley, In C, (Sony)

Less polished than Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians (1974), In C remains the most iconic example of early minimalism. As the liner notes for this digitally remastered 1968 Carnegie Hall recording say, the work is "a trip", its performers "a weird zoo".

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas