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.

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

China crushes six tonnes of ivory in crackdown on illegal trade

The illegal stockpile was destroyed in a landmark move but critics say it is just a fraction of the total

Elephant Appeal: Coming out of the line of fire

Keleshi Parukusa was trusted with protecting rhinos – but the money on offer from poaching proved too tempting for him, he confesses

File photo of a deer in Altrincham. A man has been arrested in Devon over the 'barbaric shooting' of a deer with a crossbow

Man arrested over ‘barbaric shooting’ of deer with crossbow

Police appealed for information from anyone who may have spotted the animal with a bolt in its head

Footage captured for the BBC One documentary Dolphins: Spy in the Pod showed the marine mammals chewing on puffer fish in order to get 'high'

Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around

Extraordinary scenes filmed for new documentary showing the marine mammals in their natural habitats

Elephant appeal: Photojournalist Kate Brooks documents the dangerous demise of these giants of the wild

As a photojournalist, Kate Brooks was used to documenting war zones. Then she discovered a new kind of genocide – the killing of Africa’s elephants

The chalkhill blue butterfly population has exploded on many of Britain's downs in July

A good year for nature in Britain, despite the cold: After frostiest March for 50 years, summer gave rise to an explosion in wildlife

'We had a wonderful July,' says National Trust specialist. 'The way nature fought back was miraculous; it went into overdrive'

Prince William recently established United for Wildlife, an alliance of seven leading conservation bodies, to try to end poaching

Prince William calls for end to 'greed-driven poaching epidemic'

The Duke of Cambridge yesterday called on the world to halt Africa's "poaching epidemic" after he joined Labour leader Ed Miliband in becoming the latest public figures to back The Independent on Sunday's Christmas appeal.

Elephant Appeal: The continent I fell in love with may be changed forever

My two sons may never experience Africa and its wildlife like I had the chance to

Postcard from... Brussels

There are only a few thousand of them left in the wild and fewer in captivity, but another snow leopard was lost this week when Belgian authorities were forced to shoot one that escaped from a zoo in the east of the country.

Elephant Appeal: Why conservation is about forging a friendship

Farmers have had crops repeatedly destroyed by marauding elephants

Fracking opponents were quick to criticise the plans

Government to make 40 per cent of Britain available for fracking

Coalition forges ahead with licences

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers live on the edge of Ramuruti forest in Laikipia, Kenya where they patrol as a way to deter poachers

The human cost of the demand for ivory

Poachers have killed 1,000 rangers in a decade

The frequent killings of top predators, such as wolves, bears and coyotes, benefit 'a small proportion of the nation's private agriculture' and other interests

Wildlife Services: Critics target America's ‘rogue’ assassins who kill 3 million animals a year

A US government  programme to control wildlife is under fire for being inhumane

Elephant Appeal: Where is your money going?

How your donations will help Space for Giants protect the elephants

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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