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South Africans safari owners charged in US with illegal rhino hunts

US Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe  unveils the indictment during a news conference in Montgomery. The horns on display are from previous cases, not related to the indictments.

9:53am Two South African men have been charged by the US government with conspiracy to sell illegal rhinoceros hunts to American hunters, money laundering and secretly trafficking in rhino horns.

Low oxygen supply may have killed dozens of Yerrabi Pond fish

One of the cod that was found dead at the lake.

Water samples tested in Sydney have returned readings within normal ranges, ruling out fish virus as the cause of fish deaths at Yerrabi Pond. 

Video shows Australian cattle being cruelly treated in Gaza, Jordan and Kuwait

A sheep suffering on the back of a truck. Other sheep were filmed being cruelly stuffed into wheelbarrows and car boots.

MELANIE KEMBREY The campaign to end live exports has reignited after new vision emerged showing the cruel mistreatment of Australian animals in Middle Eastern countries.


WA residents allowed to kill snakes if they feel threatened

Tiger snakes are said to be in strong supply around Herdsman Lake.

LIAM DUCEY The Department of Park and Wildlife has confirmed WA residents can kill snakes without penalty - so long as they feel immediately threatened by the slithery customer.

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World's deadliest spider hitches a ride into home with groceries

The Brazilian wandering spider quite likes those bananas.

ESTHER HAN A young British family has been left traumatised after they discovered the world's most lethal spider with a sac full of eggs hiding in their groceries.

Death of rare northern white rhino leaves species on brink of extinction

Kruger National Park Veterinary Wildlife Services staff move a white rhino to a safer part of the park.

Drazen Jorgic A rare northern white rhino has died in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy said on Saturday, leaving just six of the animals left alive and bringing the famed African species one step closer to extinction.

Aussie Backyard Bird Count set to take off

Portrait of Elizabeth Noble with her daughter Ruby in their Brooklyn backyard where they are planning to landscape it into a bird friendly environment. Photographed Saturday 18th October 2014. Photogaph by James Brickwood. SHD NEWS 141018. PLEASE NOTE: Backyard was just dirt. Not plants as of yet

LUCY CORMACK When the ABS conducts the national census every five years there is one bracket of the population it does not count: Australia’s birdlife.

Teen girl bitten by shark while surfing at Avoca Beach

Kirra-belle Olsson

MELANIE KEMBREY The shark that bit teenage surfer Kirra-belle Olsson has been identified as the usually docile wobbegong.

Llamas wrapped up for frosty spring in Canberra

Owner of Alpaca Magic at Sutton, Glynda Bluhm, with an llama wearing a bubble-wrap jacket to keep warm in the frost.

PRIMROSE RIORDAN Canberra llama farmer wraps one particularly cold animal in bubble wrap to ward off cold.

Ancient kangaroos walked instead of hopped, study finds

Sketch of a large sthenurine kangaroo. Ancient relatives of the modern kangaroo walked upright on two legs.

Rachel Feltman Modern kangaroos are a diverse bunch of species, but we know them all for their tendency to hop. According to new research published in PLOS ONE, their ancient relatives probably had a gait that would look pretty strange to us: They walked upright on two legs, like we do.

Parrot vanishes for four years, returns speaking Spanish

An African grey parrot, similar to Nigel, who went missing for four years.

A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner - and the bird now speaks Spanish.

Australian banded stilt's nomadic path tracked for first time

Put a ring on it: Banded stilts have been tracked for the first time.

NICKY PHILLIPS Some people claim to have a sixth sense for inclement weather, but no human can compete with a native Australian waterbird that knows when it has rained thousands of kilometres away.

Extinct ladybird 'back from the dead'

Wily one: the rediscovered ladybird, Micraspis flavovittata.

BRIDIE SMITH An Australian ladybird beetle scientists presumed extinct for decades has come "back from the dead" after an amateur naturalist spotted more than 40 of the yellow and black bugs at a national park in western Victoria.

These frogs might be evolving right before our eyes

Evolving before our eyes? The mimic poison frog, Ranitomeya imitator.

Rachel Feltman Scientists believe that the mimic frog, which is dividing into two increasingly distinct populations in Peru, may be on its way to speciation -- a division into multiple species.

Orphaned wombat Chloe melts hearts at Taronga Zoo

Chloe being fed by zookeeper Evelyn Weston.

STEVE JACOBS Chloe loves to chew on shoes and to hide between the boots of her surrogate mum, zookeeper Evelyn Weston.

Not just fearsome predators: sharks have personalities too, study finds

Great white shark, South Africa

Yolanda Redrup Shyness and sociability are characteristics generally associated with people, but a new study from Britain has found sharks also possess these personality traits.

Tommy the chimp in human rights court first

Chimp rights: Tommy the chimpanzee in his cage.

Philip Sherwell A 26-year-old chimpanzee who lives in a cage is having his day in court, as activists pursue a landmark lawsuit for him to be the first animal to be declared a person - with the same rights as humans - under US law.

Taronga Zoo staffer becomes surrogate dad to wallaby baby

Taronga Zoo education co-ordinator Matt Dea with rescued wallaby joey Alkira.

STEVE JACOBS A Taronga Zoo staffer has become surrogate dad to a wallaby joey whose mother was killed by a car near Sydney.

Thieves steal pythons in repeat attack on animal park

Diamond Python

HENRY BELOT Two diamond pythons and a carpet snake worth $2000 stolen from Birdland Animal Park in Batemans Bay.

Who you calling an elephant? Animals have weight issues too

Dog's breakfast: In the US more than 50 per cent of cats and dogs are obese or overweight.

Robert Young Humans have long worried about their weight, but now we should be concerned about fat animals too. Both pets and zoo animals are piling on the pounds.

Climate change leaves damselfish in distress

Damselfish in distress: A study has shown that exposure to higher carbon dioxide levels has a negative impact on various aspects of fish behaviour.

Hannah Francis A breed of tropical Australian fish is set to have a hard time coping with rising C02 levels.

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Sydney panther legend surfaces in Goulburn after couple photograph predator on property

The photograph that Jeff and Ruth Gulson took of the animal on their property.

EAMONN DUFF The truth is out there as Goulburn becomes latest 'big cat' hot spot.

Jeff Thomason draws controversy for record-breaking mako shark catch

Jeff Thomason with his world record mako shark catch.

Veronica Rocha Jeff Thomason's record-breaking catch of a 367-kilogram mako shark with a bow and arrow has netted a school of criticism on social media.


Seal spotted at Sydney Opera House

The seal on the Opera House steps.

TOM DECENT The seals are officially out to play. 

Fear fish-killing pathogen will spread from Yerrabi Pond to Murrumbidgee River

The Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin.

JOHN THISTLETON Anglers are being advised not to transfer small boats from Yerrabi Pond into other waterways to avoid spreading deadly pathogens that may be responsible for killing large numbers of Murray cod.

Taronga's echidnas follow their leader as keepers hope for a puggle


Steve Jacobs Echidnas at Taronga Zoo have recently been taking part in a strange breeding ritual known as “trailing”, leading keepers to hope for a rare puggle as the babies are known.

Mind over matter as pets undergo therapy for mental health problems

Happy chappy: Marco the Maltese terrier, pictured with owner Sandy Junior, has undergone treatment for his mental health problems.

MELANIE KEMBREY After the antidepressants and the hours of therapy, Marco has turned the corner and is a whole new dog.

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Monkey populations will suffer as climate change alters their food

Colobus monkeys

NICKY PHILLIPS If you consider the consequences of global warming, it's always the major impacts that receive the most attention - glaciers melting, sea levels rising, more frequent and more intense bush fires, floods and cyclones.


Polar bears find a new menu option

Polar bears' loss of ice to hunt from has led them to find a new food source.

James Gorman But the polar bears here discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.

Win for animal activists and media but ag-gag fight goes on

Sheep are deprived of food and water

Elise Burgess The animal protection movement has recorded a significant victory, with the defeat of "ag-gag" legislation in South Australia.


Soothing the gentle beast

Dog yoga or doga aims to help dogs find their inner peace.

Feeding time

When a chimp feeds milk to a tiger cub.

Nothing biblical in factory farming

Something has gone badly wrong in relations between human beings and other animals.

What is free range?

Organic, free range, organic free range, green, eco. Confused?

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer writes of the effect of our appetite on those lower down the food chain.

PM employs ratter

British PM enlists stray tabby to help control a rat problem.

Cat burglar

Dusty has apparently stolen more than 600 items over the years.

Roaming ducks

Ducks often get lost in search of food and end up on roads.

Leopard under the knife

Kamala, a snow leopard at Taronga Zoo, has an operation to fix her arthritic knee.

Animal CSI

Veterinary forensic science seminars teach crime scene processing procedures to prosecute crimes against animals.

Smoking chimp's cure

Animal rights workers discover chimp smoking cigarettes at a zoo.

Lively cubs get check-up

Melbourne Zoo’s Sumatran tiger cubs take their first steps into the wide world.

Taronga's baby elephant

Sydney has a new addition to its elephant herd.

Melbourne's baby jumbo

A look back at the first few days in the life of Melbourne Zoo's baby elephant, now named Mali.

Mr Shuffles walks

Newborn male Asian elephant wows Sydney.

Live cattle trade

Animals Australia has uncovered terrible cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs. Here is our record of events.

Dogs too cute for their own good

What to do with unwanted pets is a major issue. See our special index.

Freaks of Nature

In recent years, there's been a marked increase in cases of animals with genetic mutations.