News The altercation allegedly broke out during a dispute over whose turn it was to pat the park's koalas

A pleasant day out to a wildlife park reportedly turned sour when a visitor was accused of assaulting a man and threatening him with a knife – apparently because it was his turn to pat the koalas.

elephants in rain

Good fences make good neighbours in Kenya

Protecting habitat and engaging the local community are crucial for both rhinos and elephants, says Christian Lambrechts, the managing director of Rhino Ark

Supply and demand: White rhinos at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy, Limpopo, South Africa

Protesters lock horns with China over ivory as campaigners look into buyers

Gone are the days when a “Save the Rhino” advert was enough. Only about 25,000 rhinos are left in the wild, and thanks to poaching the species is critically endangered. Now, in an effort to drive down demand, conservationists are working on campaigns to understand what makes rhino horn consumers tick.

Travel special 2014: Escape the bustle of London on a rail journey to Pen-y-Bont

The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

David Cameron visited East Anglia at the times of the floods to see the damage and meet members of the local emergency services

Parts of East Anglia could be abandoned to the sea forever after recent floods

Repairing or improving flood defences is so expensive that areas of countryside which are still under water could be deserted, says Environment Agency

Hong Kong to destroy 28 tonnes of ivory

In a major step in the battle against the ivory trade, Hong Kong announced today that it will destroy 28 tonnes of its stockpiled ivory.

A pile of confiscated ivory waiting to be crushed in Dongguan, southern Guangdong province

Hong Kong agrees to destroy 28 tonnes of stockpiled ivory

Hong Kong will destroy its 28 tonnes of its stockpiled ivory, the Endangered Species Advisory Committee (ESAC) announced yesterday. This decision comes after Guangzhou in China destroyed six tonnes of ivory earlier this year.

Space for Giants trains and employs community scouts to patrol their local area and report incidents of poaching.

Field diary: protecting elephants on the ground

Our weekly field diary gives you an insight into the day-to-day work of Space for Giants scouts,  working in Laikipia, Kenya to save elephants.

Caught red-handed? Burglary suspect captured on BBC wildlife presenter Simon King’s ‘fox family’ camera

Police said to be ‘delighted’ by footage from camera which streams 24-hours-a-day to the TV presenter's website

Hanging Rock is under threat

No picnic at Hanging Rock: Australian beauty spot which was setting for famed Seventies film under threat from hotel developers

Protest meetings – and even a protest picnic - held at the site as petition with 5,000 signatures urges council to reconsider

The bounty marks an escalation in the fight against wildlife crime

$1m bounty on the ‘Pablo Escobar’ of animal trafficking's head

Reward targets Vixay Keosavang in new escalation of fight against this ‘lucrative’ crime

Black rhino hunter Corey Knowlton receives death threats after winning licence to shoot endangered animal

Knowlton said he has hired full time security after he was named online as the winner of the Dallas Safari Club auction

An environmental crime investigator walks past the carcass of a three-day-old rhinoceros killed by poachers. The number of rhinos killed in South Africa for their horns soared to more than 1,000 last year

Number of rhinos killed in South Africa soars

The number of rhinos killed in South Africa for their horns soared to more than 1,000 last year, a 50 per cent jump on 2012 and up from just 13 in 2007.

Celebrities who supported the Independent's elephant appeal with Space for Giants

Who supports our elephant campaign?

From David Cameron to Stephen Fry to Damian Lewis, politicians, actors, musicians and artists have supported our elephant appeal. Check out our interactive graphic to see what they said.

Three teams in training to take on the poachers

Every penny raised in the elephant appeal will be spent directly on wildlife conservation projects in Africa. Here's how.

Lonely dolphin 'trying to make friends with humans' after being separated from pod in Australia

A lonely young dolphin is trying to make friends with humans along Australia’s east coast but swimmers are being told to shun the creature.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there