Animals Facts

Animals are multicellular, organisms of the kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently. All animals must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance. 

Here you will find a huge collection of resources and factsheets all about ANIMALS!

Image by: Matt MacGillivray




Aardvark means 'earth-pig' in Afrikaans. They are very secretive animals so very little is known about their way of life. 

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Albatross (Wandering)

The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird and is perhaps the most magnificent of all twelve species of albatross.



Amphibians are vertebrates (animals with backbones) which are able, when adult, to live both in water and on land.



Asses live in desert or semi-desert areas, steppeland (grassy plains) and mountainous regions. They prefer hilly areas but will come down into the ...

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Australian Wildlife Part 1

About 50 million years ago it was joined to a giant landmass called Gondwanaland but it then became separated and it is its isolation that has led ...



Badgers are iconic countryside mammals widespread throught UK, Ireland and parts of Europe


We discover a badger sett while on a walk in a local wood.  We find out all about how and where badgers live, what they eat and why they are so dif...

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Bat (Common Long-Eared)

The common long-eared bat is small, usually buff-coloured above, paler underside. Wings thin and translucent. Exceptionally large ears (34-38mm).

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Bat (Natterer's)

Like all species of bat in Britain, the Natterer's bat is less common than it used to be. The reason for its decline is that its food and shelter h...

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Bat (Pipistrelle)

The pipistrelle is the smallest and most common of Britain's 18 species of bat. It belongs to the Vespertilionidae family of bats, known as ordinar...

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Bats (British)

Bats are quite remarkable animals worthy of our interest and respect. They are the only mammals capable of controlled flight - and their aerobatic ...

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Bear (Grizzly)

Grizzly bears are a North American subspecies of Brown Bear now found wild only in Canada and Alaska and in parks and reserves in Montana, Idaho, W...


Beetle (Stag)

The stag beetle is Britain's largest insect and one of the most well-known of all the beetles. The male is easily recognised because of his mouthpa...



Biodiversity describes the whole range of the different varieties of living things and systems on this earth. Biodiversity can be found everywhere ...

Bird Breeding and Traffic

The great tit, a bird that can be found all over the UK, is one of the birds affected.  Male great tits sing songs to attract females to breed with...

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Some lovely birds

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Bison (Amercian)

There are only about 500,000 bison alive today, of these, only about 11,250 are classed as truly 'wild'.  The rest are mainly on ranches or in mana...

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Blue Tit

Although the blue tit is mainly a woodland bird it is one of our best-known garden birds.

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Boar (Wild)

The wild boar lives in a family party that has a territory of 10 - 20 sq km but in the autumn, family groups come together to form herds of up to 5...


Butterfly (Swallowtail)

The swallowtail is Britain's largest and most exotic butterfly. Its name refers to the extensions on the hind-wings which look rather like a swallo...



The buzzard is the most common of Britain's larger birds of prey.



There are six members of the family Camelidae. Two of these are 'true' camels; one living in Asia and the other in Arabia and North Africa. The oth...

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Cat (Wild)

The wild cat was once common over most of the British Isles, but it is now only found in Scotland and are under threat with an estimated 400 in the...

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Cats (Big)

Leopards, jaguars, snow leopards, pumas, lions, tigers and cheetahs



The cheetah is best known for its reputation as the fastest land animal over short distances - up to 70 mph.



The chimpanzee resembles humans more closely than any other animal.

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Climate Change and Animals

This factsheet takes a look at some of the challenges that animals might have to face in the future.  How does climate change affect them?

Conservation Education 11 - Minibeasts

Spiders - aaaarrrggh! Slugs - yuk! Wasps - ouch! This is many people’s first reaction to the sight or mention of many of our minibeasts. The word ‘...



Cormorants are members of the pelican family.



Crocodilians are the closest surviving relatives of the great dinosaurs. They have changed very little during the 150 million years that they have ...

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Deer (Fallow)

The fallow deer was introduced into Britain by the Normans and wild herds have lived for centuries in ancient forests such as the New Forest, Eppin...

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Deer (Red)

The red deer is Britain's largest land mammal. Although native to Britain, it is also found in southern Scandinavia, Turkey and as far as China and...



Reptiles dominated life on land during the Mesozoic era, a period of time which extended from approximately 225 million to 65 million years ago.



Many kinds of dolphins and porpoises are sociable animals and live in schools varying in size from a family group to around 1,000 individuals. 



The donkey is a descendant of the African wild ass, which is now rare in the wild and found in only a few remote parts of north-eastern Africa.



The word dormouse comes from the French word 'dormir' - to sleep. The dormouse is one of the most attractive of Britain's small mammals.



Dragonflies are fast-flying, four-winged insects with long bodies and enormous eyes. The adult dragonfly has the biggest eyes in the insect world a...

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Eagle (Golden)

The golden eagle is one of the largest and most impressive of British birds, especially when seen soaring over a Highland glen or searching for pre...

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Elephant (Asian)

Elephants are good swimmers despite their size, and use their trunks as snorkels. They love water and bathe frequently.


Endangered Animals of the World

Endangered means to be under threat or near extinction.  When a species/animal is endangered it means that they are disappearing fast or have a ver...



A species becomes extinct when its death rate is continually greater than its birthrate.

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Fox (Arctic)

The arctic fox is the main predator in the arctic feeding on birds, small mammals, including seal pups, and carcasses left behind by polar bears.

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Fox (Fennec)

The fennec is one of the smallest of all foxes, but it has the largest ears. Its head and body measure 35-41cm, and ears measure 15cm.

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Fox (Red)

The red fox is the most widespread and numerous predator in Britain.



Giraffes are sociable creatures, but do not form herds. Instead, they meet in groups each day, but the composition of a group changes from day to d...



Largest of the four great apes, the gorilla is a shy, gentle, peaceful animal.



The Guillemot is penguin-like in appearance; slim, pointed bill, dark brown head and upperparts, white underparts.

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Gull (Herring)

The well-known yodelling call of the herring gull conjures up pictures of the seaside perhaps more than any other sound.


Habitats: The African Savanna

A lesson looking at the carnivores, herbivores, omnivores etc. of the African Savanna.  It provides definitions of key terms like mammal, reptile, ...


Habitats: The Rocky Shore

A lesson looking at the carnivores, herbivores, omnivores etc. of the UK's rocky shore. It shows how plants and animals have adapted to the challen...



Did you know that Hamsters aren't only found in pet shops?

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Hare (Brown)

The brown hare is a larger, more athletic relative of the rabbit. It is able to adapt to a variety of habitats and so is one of the most widely dis...



The hedgehog is the most easily one of the most recognised of British mammals yet they are steadily disappearing from the wild. 

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Heron (Grey)

Except when they are breeding, herons spend much of their time alone, feeding in damp places or wading in water.



For most animals finding enough food in winter can be difficult when the main source of food like insects or green plants is in short supply. Some ...



The common hippopotamus name means 'river horse' and the hippo spends most of its time in water.

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Horse (Przewalski's)

Przewalski's horse (pronounced 'ji-vaal-ski') is the only truly wild horse left in the world. It is believed that it has changed very little since ...



The horse may not be used to such a great extent by humans these days, but it is still an important and useful animal.



Although somewhat dog-like in appearance, the hyaenas are placed in a family of their own and are more closely related to cats than dogs!


In The Garden

You are only a few steps away from an amazing environmental adventure... Where? In your own back garden! Just check out some of these beasties.

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Jackal (Golden)

Jackals are true members of the dog family and can actually interbreed with both domestic dogs and wolves.



The Jerboa family is a very interesting group of rodents which have adapted themselves to living in both hot and cold deserts.

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Kangaroo (Grey)

The grey kangaroo, sometimes known as the great grey, is one of the best-known of all kangaroo species, along with the similar-sized red kangaroo. ...



The koala is perhaps the best-loved of all Australia's marsupial, or pouched, mammals. Although it is rather bear-like in appearance, its nearest r...

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Leopard (Snow)

The snow leopard is related to the common leopard of Africa and Asia, but because its way of life and general appearance are so different it is reg...



A lion is a large, powerful carnivore and was once common in Asia and parts of Europe as well as in Africa. This impressive member of the big cat f...



This flamboyant fish is beautiful with it's frilly fins and hypnotic stripes but don't be fooled by it's looks - it is trying to tell you to stay a...



Macaws are members of the parrot family which has 340 species. 17 different species of Macaw are found in the rainforests of South America.  Many o...



There are 4 species of Manatee, one in West Africa, one in the Caribbean from the south-eastern United States to northern South America and one in ...



Animals do many different and amazing things. Some of them ‘migrate’. This means they travel to other places where the weather is warmer or they ca...



Quite literally, a ‘minibeast’ is simply a small animal. Spiders, snails, slugs, beetles, centipedes, worms, earwigs, caterpillars are just a few.



The mole is not seen very often. The heaps of soil (molehills) which it makes whilst tunnelling gives its presence away. In medieval times it was c...

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Monkey (Red Howler)

Red howler monkeys are thought to be one of the noisiest land animals on the planet!

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Monkey (Vervet)

Vervet monkeys have long arms and legs which allow them to move at speed on the ground. 

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Mouse (Harvest)

The harvest mouse is the smallest rodent in Britain and weighs less than a 2 pence coin!

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Mouse (Wood)

The wood mouse, also known as the long-tailed field mouse, though rarely seen as it is nocturnal, is probably Britain's most numerous mammal. 

No new pandas for Edinburgh Zoo

In a strange way, I see the giant panda as a kind of anti-dodo.  Whereas dodos seemingly delivered themselves willingly to death and ultimately ext...



'Orang' and 'utan' are the Malay words meaning 'person' and 'forest'; the orangutan is literally a 'person of the forest'.

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Otter (Eurasian)

Otters are mainly nocturnal and hunt in open, marshy places, rivers, lakes, seashores and estuaries

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Otter (Sea)

The sea otter is an almost exclusively marine animal, spending little time ashore. Its fur is thick and glossy and ranges in colour from black to d...

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It has been estimated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation that over 70% of the world’s fish stocks are either fully exploited o...

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Owl (Barn)

Of the five species of owl which breed in Britain the barn owl is becoming much less common generally - and in some places, rare. A recent report s...

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Owl (Little)

The little owl was introduced to Britain from Holland in 1889 and it was then known as the 'fierce little foreigner'. As its Latin name implies, th...

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Owl (Long-Eared)

The long-eared owl may be found in many areas of Britain and Ireland, but it is not common and, being nocturnal, it is rarely seen.

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Owl (Short-Eared)

The short-eared owl is a widespread species, found in many countries.


Owl (Tawny)

The tawny owl is nocturnal and therefore not often seen during daylight. Its familiar hooting 'hoo hoo - hoohoo' call is usually heard at night; a ...

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Panda (Giant)

This endangered species is one of the most well-known and well-loved in the world.

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Penguin (Emperor)

Emperor penguins are very sociable creatures and live in colonies of anything from five hundred to twenty thousand pairs of penguins. It is very ra...



Penguins are flightless sea - birds with short tails and paddle-like wings. The plumage is very dense and covers the whole of the body. The legs ar...

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Just check out these happy feet! Image credit: Antarctica Bound

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Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon is the largest British falcon and perhaps the most impressive hunter of them all.

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Pine Marten

The pine marten is a carnivorous, arboreal (tree-living) member of the weasel family. It was once widespread in Britain but now it is rare. 


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In this game, you need to help Peter cross the ice in the hunt for food! There's a slight problem. Although real polar bears can swim a long way - ...

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Polar Bear

The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family.



The polecat used to be called a 'foul mart' because of its strong smell. The name polecat is said to be from the French poule chat,'the chicken cat...



A pond is a small area of still, fresh water. It is different from a river or a stream because it does not have moving water and it differs from a ...



The puffin's distinctive bill has given it the nicknames of 'sea parrot' and 'bottle nose'. Although it looks a bit like a penguin or a parrot, it ...



Rabbits are sociable animals and live in colonies in burrow systems known as warrens.



This set of lesson plans explores the plants, animals and people of the Amazon rainforest, enabling students to learn more about classification of ...



Razorbills belong to the auk family, along with guillemots and puffins. The razorbill is well-named because the edges of its hooked upper beak are ...

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Reptiles (British)

Of the four living groups of reptiles, only one, the snakes and lizards is represented in Britain. Reptiles bodies are covered with scales. Lizards...



The name 'rhinoceros' comes from ancient Greek and means 'horned nose'. There are only 5 species of rhino left making them one of the most endanger...



The robin is a popular visitor to gardens and is well-known for its tameness. In the winter they will regularly visit a bird-table to eat kitchen s...

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Seal (Grey)

The grey seal is Britain's largest carnivorous mammal. Its thick, insulating layer of blubber and waterproof fur allow it to survive in cold water ...

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Seal (Harp)

The Harp seal can be found in both coastal waters or on pack ice, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and across the Arctic to Siberia.

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Seal (Leopard)

The leopard seal is so-called because of its spotted markings and leopard-like ferocity. They live mainly in the sea and on the pack ice around the...



A rocky shore consists of rocky ledges with pools of salty water, boulders and pebbles.  Living in this habitat is a community of hardy plants and ...



Like its larger relative, the Cormorant, the shag is a member of the pelican family. It spends more time on the coasts and out at sea than the Corm...

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Shark (Great White)

The great white shark has long had a reputation as a fearsome 'man-eater' and is probably the most feared of all animals that live in the oceans.


Shrew (Common)

The common shrew is one of Britain's smallest mammals and is closely related to the mole and hedgehog.

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Shrew (Water)

The water shrew is the largest of the five species of British shrews and like all shrews leads a hectic life, busy by day and night on the look-out...

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Snake (Black Mamba)

After the king cobra, the black mamba is the longest venomous snake in the world. It is also the fastest-moving snake in the world, reaching up to ...

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Snake (Fer de Lance)

The fer-de-lance's name means 'spearhead' in French.  It is the most dangerous snake of Central and South America, and causes more human deaths tha...


Snake (King Cobra)

King cobras are active by day and night, but are rarely seen. They hunt by smell, 'tasting' the air with their forked tongues to track their prey.

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Snake (Smooth)

Smooth snakes are extremely rare in this country and you are unlikely to see one. They live only in a few isolated areas of heathland in Southern E...

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Squirrel (Grey)

The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century. There is now an estimated population of 2 million making them much more ...

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Squirrel (Red)

The red squirrel, the original 'Squirrel Nutkin' of Beatrix Potter fame, is one of our favourite British mammals but it is declining in numbers and...

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Stickleback (Three-spined)

The three-spined stickleback is one of the most familiar fish of Britain's freshwater streams and ponds.



The stoat is sometimes mistaken for its close relative, the weasel, but it is larger and has a distinctive black tip to its tail.

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Swan (Mute)

For centuries, mute swans were known as 'birds royal' because only the king or a few specially favoured subjects could keep them. They were often s...

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Tamarin (Golden Lion)

Tamarins and marmosets are the smallest monkeys (primates) in the world. The golden lion tamarin is the largest and related to the golden headed an...

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About the size of a shetland pony, the tapir is a rather odd looking animal. Not only has it a long and flexible snout like a short trunk, but it h...



The name tarantula is generally applied to any large, hairy spider, especially to the furry, bird eating spiders of South America.


The last of their kind

There are now just five of Africa's second largest mammals left on our planet.  The northern white rhino now only exists in captivity, with all bei...

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Tiger (Bengal)

The tiger is the largest member of the cat family. The Bengal tiger is one of the five surviving races of tiger.

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Tiger (Siberian)

The Siberian tiger is a very rare species of tiger. From an estimated low in 2010 of 360, in May 2015 the Russian Government announced that the Si...

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Tortoise (Galapagos)

There were originally fifteen different subspecies of Galapagos giant tortoise each evolved to suit the conditions on the different islands.

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Trade and Endangered Species

Humans have always used wild animals and plants for their products, such as fruits and seeds for food, skins for clothing, wood for fires etc.

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Turtle (Green)

Green Turtles are found in all the warmer oceans and in the Mediterranean. They have thick, heavy, bony shells, covered in plate-like scales.

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Vole (Field)

The field vole is also called the short-tailed vole. It is very similar to the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) but the latter has red-brown fur...

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Vole (Water)

Water voles are often mistakenly called water rats, but they are only distantly related to rats. Water voles have a chubby face with a blunt nose a...



Walruses are found in the sub-zero temperature Arctic seas from Alaska, Canada and Greenland to Russia.



Warthogs are mostly found in central, eastern and southern Africa. Both sexes have the prominent tusks and two warts on either side of the face.



The weasel is Britain's smallest carnivore and belongs to the same family as the stoat and otter. It is a fierce hunter and is usually only spotted...

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Whale (Blue)

The blue whale is not only the largest living animal but probably the largest creature the world has ever known. One of greatest recorded lengths f...

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Whale (Humpback)

The humpback whale can reach a maximum length of 17 metres, with the female larger than the male. The size and weight is also impressive. A 15m hum...

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Whale (Killer)

Killer whales are the only whale to prey on other warm-blooded animals. Like wolves, they are pack hunters and will even attack a lame blue whale.


Wildlife in your local area

This suite of lesson plans covers the identification of commonly-found wild plants and animals from the United Kingdom.  It includes wild flowers, ...

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Wolf (Arctic)

Wolves are the largest wild members of the dog family. They live in packs and have to co-operate in order to survive. The Arctic Wolf is a highly r...

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Woodpecker (Green)

Green woodpeckers are most common in old parkland but will live happily in any habitat that offers a mixture of large old trees and areas of close ...

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Zebra (Grevy's)

Grevy's zebra is the largest of all the zebras and it is an endangered species.



The subject of the rights or wrongs of zoos can be very emotive with many unbalanced views being put forward by people who have little real knowled...