News The puma with a tranquiliser dart in its side in the Chile kitchen it wrecked

Police said animal was well cared for, suggesting it was an escaped pet or was released into wild and was trying to get home

Sometimes the bear necessities are not enough

One of the perils of filming by hidden camera is that you are often wandering around in disguise, often in a uniform of some sort, and this can lead to tricky requests from unsuspecting members of the public.

Sarah McClay died when she was attacked by a tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria

Zoo keeper, Sarah McClay, was killed by tiger after door was left ‘wide open’

Police investigate whether human error led to the death of the 24-year-old victim

Lawyers warned the magazines create a degrading environment

Sales of lads’ mags could amount to sexual harassment, lawyers tell shops

Staff forced to handle such magazines could take legal action against employers

Paperback review: I Am an Executioner, By Rajesh Parameswaran

This collection of nine short stories is subtitled "Love Stories" – but the loves are of unexpected kinds.

Tim Key: 'If you don't have to tranquilise an animal to get it into your zoo it shouldn't come in'

My big brother invited me to the zoo this week so I'd have something to put in my column for The Independent. That, and also to help him look after his children. I've got two nieces and a nephew or two nephews and a niece, and I've read enough newspaper articles and Roald Dahl books over the years to know that these people need to be protected when they are near things like hippos and toucans. The last thing I want to do is make up some excuse about having to wallpaper my toilet and then later learn that my niece was pecked by a flamingo because I wasn't there.

Award for Independent columnist Howard Jacobson

The Independent columnist and novelist Howard Jacobson is celebrating becoming the first writer to claim the UK's only prize for comic fiction for a second time.

Write on: Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson takes Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Zoo Time

Howard Jacobson has won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for the second time.

Pastoral starring Anna Calder-Marshall as crazy old Moll

Theatre review: Pastoral, Soho Theatre, London

Thomas Eccleshare’s first play won the 2011 Verity Bargate award, so named in honour of the Soho’s founding co-director, and it arrives in London from a season at the High Tide Festival in Halesworth, Suffolk (where I saw it), full of bleak poetry and hilarious stage action.

Marine biology: Appeal launched to find rare Madagascan fish

A worldwide appeal has been launched to find a mate for the last remaining males of a fish on the brink of extinction. The Mangarahara cichlid, from Madagascar, is believed to have vanished from the wild as a result of the building of dams on the Mangarahara River.

Chilean rose tarantula

A cure for my spider phobia? That doesn't have legs

London Zoo must immediately stop sending me emails inviting me to get up close and personal with eight-legged freaks. Otherwise known as spiders.

Ruth Padel's 'The Mara Crossing' is out now

Talks and tigers are a natural attraction

My book on migration, The Mara Crossing, took seven years. I put the birds and animals first, so their dangerous journeys could show that the drive to find better living conditions is universal and that human migration, a burning political topic everywhere today, is as natural as that of animals. Both are done to survive, both are part of the self-renewing nature of all life.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Life of Pi (PG)

Ang Lee DVD/Blu-ray (127mins)

Postcard from Cairo: An animal tale that was turtle hokum

By its own lofty standards, it had been a relatively slow news week in Cairo.

Edinburgh Zoo's resident pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian 'ready to mate'

The UK's pair of giant pandas could be put together today in the hope they will mate.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
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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