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.

Life after Chernobyl: Sergei Gaschak’s photography from inside 'the zone'

Images from hidden camera reveal how wildlife is thriving in zone closed off to humans for 26 years

'It nearly took my leg off': British grandfather on holiday in Australia 'grabbed shark by tail to save bathers'

A British grandfather on holiday in Australia is being hailed as a hero after he grabbed a shark by its tail and tried to drag it away from people playing at the edge of the sea.

Rugs, trophies, skulls, teeth – more than 32,000 specimens of polar bear were traded in the last decade

Britain urged to stop supporting the trade in dead polar bears

Environmentalists including Chris Packham and Bear Grylls have urged Britain to drop its support for polar bear trading – claiming that the UK's opposition to a ban has contributed to thousands of the animals being hunted for rugs, trophies and body-parts.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Travel in 2013

I'm always interested in where others are going – but you've missed out the whole of Brazil here. This is the country to go to in 2013: 5,000 miles of undiscovered sandy beaches with as much or as little action as you want, plus history, culture, samba, football and beautiful hidden pousadas to stay at wherever you go.

Alison McGowan

Crew rescued from stricken tug boat

Eight people have been rescued off the coast of Devon from a tug which is carrying 200 tonnes of diesel.

The moai, giant stone statues that line the Easter Island coast

This week's big questions: Can ancient tribes teach us anything? Are we doomed, like Easter Islanders, to extinction?

This week's questions are answered by Jared Diamond, an American scientist and the author of the bestselling ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel

Cooler weather brings respite in Australia - for now

Record temperatures across southern Australia cooled today, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer's extreme heat and fire risk.

Animals at risk as wildlife crime unit faces the axe over £136,000 funding

Britain's National Wildlife Crime Unit which leads the fight against the burgeoning illegal wildlife trade may be facing the axe.

The News Matrix: Friday 4 January 2013

Millions struggling to pay the rent

Peregrine falcons can be taken from the wild and sold for enormous sums for falconry - even though it's illegal

Wildlife crime unit faces extinction over funding crisis

Concern about future of crucial work preventing smuggling and cruelty against animals

Penkridge, in Staffordshire, was hit by flooding in June this year

2012 second wettest year on record

Last year was the wettest on record in England and the second wettest ever seen in the UK, the Met Office has announced.

The drilling unit Kulluk ran aground near Alaska

Shell oil drilling platform stranded in sensitive Arctic region

The multinational oil giant Shell is facing fresh criticism of its Arctic offshore oil drilling programme, after one of its platforms was left stranded in an environmentally sensitive area of the Alaskan coast.

Video: Seal who swam 50 miles along flooded river set to draw crowds

A seal believed to have swum more than 50 miles (80km) along a flooded river to a nature reserve is expected to become a visitor attraction.

Wildlife rangers captured 314 of the estuarine crocodiles in 2012, the equivalent of more than six a week in the northernmost section of the Northern Territory

Number of crocodiles in Australian waters soars

A record haul of man-eating saltwater crocodiles was removed from waterways in the "Top End" of Australia last year, confirming that numbers of the feared reptiles are ballooning.

A female rhino, with a male companion, who survived a brutal dehorning in South Africa

Rhino poaching peaks across Africa as demand for horns soars

The world is facing a new wildlife crisis with rhino and elephant poaching in Africa now running out of control, as the illicit wildlife trade booms across the globe as never before.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links