Our Planet
The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
Military three-step as birds drill for food through the late winter snow
Beachcombers to hunt out 'mermaid's purses' to help protect sharks
French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
"If you don't see it you can have my Land Rover!" reassured my friend as we walked upstream from the town centre. It's the sort of guarantee you want as you go in search of one of the country's most elusive animals. Sure enough, as predicted, the young male otter, completely wild but long habituated to humans, swam nonchalantly upstream.

The creature's approach may have been meandering and leisured, but our responses were anything but: photographers and other observers rushed to take positions, often lying on hail-soaked ground, making final adjustments to equipment. Some cameras were sunk on tripods into the current at otter's-eye level and when the beast rose out of the river Thet to sniff at a mossy knoll, the camera shutters volleyed like machine-gun rounds.

If the otter glanced edgily at its paparazzi reception, it was on terms of absolute amity with the water. I noticed that, as it emerged, the stream had left long linear current lines through its fur so that the whole creature had a graphic quality, as if the Thet had actually drawn it. When the otter dived back under, the action did not seem a manoeuvre foisted by a living creature upon its inanimate surroundings. It had an air of collaboration. As much as the otter plunged, the water yielded. There was no splash. It was like a quick shot of oil fired into the stream's laminar pulse. They blended, and off it swam to porpoise and plunge for 90 more magical minutes. It rootled in rafts of riverbank vegetation, it surfaced with pencil-thin elvers or tiddlers called bullheads, whose olive scales were shot with orange and lime. At one turbid mass it burrowed under and bulked up sloughs of weed so that the violent twist and bulge of vegetation clothed the otter's every move. Nothing held it for more than moments and always as it went we could follow the submerged line by the joyous champagne effervescence of otter's breath.
Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean
Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses
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Week-old baby died after being bitten by jack russell, inquest hears
Avian flu: Chinese pigeon fanciers vaccinate tens of thousands of birds
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Firefighters tackle blaze at Scottish zoo
Scottish zoo fire leaves animals and reptiles dead
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Chinese vessel on Philippine coral reef caught with illegal pangolin meat
Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return
Edinburgh zoo pandas 'ready to mate'
Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Today the brimstones are out, careering up and down the rides
English farmers to be reimbursed for sheep killed in snowstorms
Rhino heads seized in gang raid on Ireland's national museum
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Australia's koala crisis
Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Scientists attack government climbdown on marine protection
French fisherman survives crocodile attack in Australia
Oxford college under attack over plans to display live shark at ball
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China loves pork too much
New to Nature No 100: Eleodes wheeleri
Bollywood actors charged in poaching case
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Farewell to Nick Boing, Wales's very own superstar sheep
South African minister backs legalisation of rhino horn trade
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Ranger corruption 'impeding global fight against poaching'
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Red squirrels are intensely curious creatures, and extraordinarily pretty
Freezing weather brings fresh perils for British wildlife
Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
Eating fish: it's complicated
Do you think the Grand National is cruel?
Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
Farmers call for help over mounting sheep deaths
Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN
South African game reserve poisons rhino's horns to prevent poaching
Cats leave their mark on centuries of books
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