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.

RSPCA denies killing too many healthy animals

The RSPCA has denied claims by one of its former inspectors that it kills more healthy animals than necessary. More than 3,400 animals were put down last year for non-medical reasons, the organisation said yesterday.

Queensland: Deadly snakes hatch in wardrobe

As three-year-old Kyle Cumming slept peacefully in his Queensland home, a clutch of wild eggs he had discovered in his backyard were incubating in his wardrobe.

Richard Sumner, left, and Julian Barnsfield at court yesterday

David Cameron's local hunt fined £26,300 for illegal fox hunting

David Cameron’s favourite fox hunt, and David Cameron's favourite huntsman, were both fined for illegal hunting today in a case which will embarrass the Prime Minister.

Books of the Year 2012: Natural history

From art to sport, poetry to nature, travel to food, history to music: our writers select the best of the year’s books in a comprehensive guide to the highlights in every shade of the literary spectrum – except grey

Fifty Shades of weird? Lemur called Christian Grey finds love with mate named Mrs Grey

A lemur named after the fictional character Christian Grey from the best-selling book Fifty Shades Of Grey has met a love interest.

Credo: Professor Alice Roberts

‘Am I the new David Attenborough? Those shoes will never be filled’

Anna Ryder Richardson wildlife park fined after falling tree bough hospitalised three-year-old boy

A wildlife park run by TV star Anna Ryder Richardson and her husband has been fined £70,000 for health and safety breaches.

Backyard twitchers chart decline of 44m birds

Britain's bird population has plummeted by 44 million in four decades, according to a study carried out with the help of volunteer ornithologists.

Red kite: Once abundant across much of the UK, this spectacular bird of prey is making its way back thanks to a series of highly successful reintroduction projects. Up 575 per cent to 1,600 pairs
(1995-2010 figures)

Backyard ornithologists chart disappearance of 44m birds

The UK's bird population has plummeted by 44 million in four decades, according to a study carried out with the help of volunteer ornithologists.

BP settlement a boon to conservation group

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has operated on a modest budget in relative obscurity for nearly three decades. Then it won the lottery.

Man caught smuggling 600 deadly cobras into Thailand

Thai authorities have seized a pickup truck full of deadly cobras at a checkpoint in the country's central region. They believe the snakes came from Malaysia and were destined for a third country for use in traditional medicine or human consumption.

TV star Anna Ryder Richardson sobs as husband admits safety breach which put a mother and child in hospital

TV star Anna Ryder Richardson sobbed into her husband's chest today after he admitted serious health and safety breaches which put a mother and her young child in hospital.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said it would not be possible to eradicate a disease which is threatening to devastate the UK's ash trees

Urgent action is needed to up UK's defences against plant diseases like fungus killing ash trees, says Environment Secretary Owen Paterson

Britain needs a radical rethink of its defences against emerging plant diseases brought in from abroad, such as the chalara fungus now threatening ash trees, the Environment Secretary, Owen Patterson, said.

‘Extinct’ animal turns up in Wales as roadside carcass proves elusive pine martens still exist

One of Britain’s rarest and most elusive animals has been found in Wales, after a hunt lasting more than 40 years – the pine marten.

Forgotten corners of the South-west

Elizabeth Zach finds a deserted old town, lonely lakes and a poignant relic of the Second World War

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
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Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

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China's influence on fashion

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