Live updates



Sir David Attenborough launches fight to save gorillas

Sir David Attenborough is fulfilling a promise made to his late friend, who pleaded with him to raise awareness of gorilla-poaching Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

Sir David Attenborough has launched a global fight to save mountain gorillas in Rwanda from being poached.

The wildlife expert is backing a 'crowdfunding' campaign by Fauna & Flora International, which involves going online and encouraging a mass of people to directly fund a cause.

Sir David, who hopes to raise £110,000 by December 11, travelled to Rwanda in 1978 to film the gorillas' plight for the BBC's Life on Earth series.

In highlighting the issue, he is fulfilling a promise made three decades ago to his late friend, American zoologist Dian Fossey, after learning poachers were selling gorillas' body parts as trophies.

"She said: 'Please, please, please help spread the news. There are only 200 of them left in the wild'," Sir David said.

"So I promised I would do something."

Tory councillor attacks 'silly old fart' Attenborough

A Conservative councillor has caused outrage on Twitter after he said he wished "silly old fart" Sir David Attenborough would "take a one-way trip to Switzerland".

Cllr Phil Taylor, who represents a ward in Ealing in west London later blogged that it was "an off the cuff, ironic comment" and "if David Attenborough is unhappy I am sorry."

He added that he was "frustrated" that the broadcaster used his 'national treasure' status to promote controversial views over population control.

Oxfam: David Attenborough 'wrong' on aid comments

Sir David Attenborough is "wrong" for his comments on aid where he said it was "barmy" attempting to solve famine in Africa by sending bags of flour, Oxfam said.

Sir David Attenborough dismissed sending food aid to countries enduring famine as "barmy". Credit: PA

Hannah Stoddart, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said: “We can’t look the other way while men, women and children starve in a famine; it is our moral duty to help.

“David Attenborough is wrong – there is plenty of food in the world to feed everyone if we share what we have more fairly. Also, we could easily boost production by reversing decades of under-investment in poor countries' agriculture.

"Of course we need to act to reduce climate change and protect scarce natural resources but that does not mean turning our backs on people in dire situations who need our help."

Attenborough: Food aid to African famine is 'barmy'

David Attenborough's new series Rise Of Animals: Triumph Of The Vertebrates will begin on Friday. Credit: PA

Sir David Attenborough has dismissed sending food aid to countries enduring famine as "barmy" as he urged for more debate about population control.

The natural history broadcaster warned that the world is "heading for disaster" and without action the "natural world will do something", he told The Daily Telegraph.

He added that the natural world has been doing it "for a long time" and more discussion is needed.

"What are all these famines in Ethiopia, what are they about?" he said.

"They're about too many people for too little land. That's what it's about. And we are blinding ourselves.

"We say, get the United Nations to send them bags of flour. That's barmy."

Load more updates