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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A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
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Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
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Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
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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
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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
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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'
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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