News A meerkat peers out from beneath a rock during a stocktake

Creatures were given snacks in exchange for having their details recorded by zoo keepers

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Rarity has a value all of its own

Why is rarity so prized? What deep psychological roots in us does it tap? It clearly has nothing to do with the inherent properties of a given object, as a tatty and overprinted postage stamp will have immense allure for stamp collectors, if very rare, whereas a clean and exceptionally beautiful stamp which has just been issued in its millions will carry no cachet.

Camel, By Robert Irwin

Peter O'Toole owes his life to Shagram, the "No. 1 camel" which – during the filming of Lawrence of Arabia - stood over the star after a fall as stampeding horses thundered past. Robert Irwin's erudite, droll and utterly delightful book about the life and lore of the dromedary (one hump) and Bactrian (two) abounds with details that reflect glory on a much-misundersstood animal.

Can she handle a new gorilla in her midst?

Dilemma for London Zoo after death of primate harem's dominant male

Leading article: Water of life

Where there is life there's hope. And that certainly applies to our rivers.

Humanists protest over Creationist zoo

A secular group is demanding that tourism groups stop promoting a "Creationist" zoo which questions the traditional view of evolution.

'King Newt' Ken to marry at the reptile house

Ken Livingstone and wife-to-be Emma Beal are to say their vows among the wallabies and emus of London Zoo, the capital's former mayor has revealed.

Zoo forced to shut as 30 chimps escape

Chester Zoo was evacuated this afternoon after 30 chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure. The animals found their way into a keeper area where their food is prepared at 12.40pm. More than 5,000 visitors were asked to leave the 110-acre zoo shortly afterwards, as keepers rounded up the chimps. There were no injuries to members of the public or staff and the decision was taken purely as a precautionary measure, the zoo said in a statement. "We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to our visitors and would thank them for their full co-operation and patience," the statement said. The zoo has more than 1.3 million visitors a year and has been named by Forbes as one of the best 15 zoos in the world.

Masters and Commanders, By Andrew Roberts

Exceptional in both research and thundering narrative, this revealing book tells the story of the four key players on the Allied side in the Second World War.

Eric Simms

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London Zoo's gorilla Bobby dies

London Zoo's gorilla Bobby has died, it was announced today.

Darwin's 'beard' on show for first time

Strands of hair believed to have fallen out of Charles Darwin's beard will go on show in public for the first time tomorrow in what is expected to be a blockbuster exhibition on the Victorian naturalist.

The Zoological Society of London

In Thursday's article ' Iceland blows town hall budgets', we wrote that The Zoological Society of London, which runs London zoo, had £500,000 of its money frozen by Iceland banks. In fact The Zoological Society of London does not have any funds invested in Icelandic banks.'

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Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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