Japan told to halt Antarctic whaling by international court

The International Court of Justice has ordered a temporary halt to Japan’s annual slaughter of whales in the southern ocean after concluding that the hunts are not, as Japan claims, conducted for scientific research.

The UN court’s decision, by a 12-4 majority among a panel of judges, casts serious doubt over the long-term future of the jewel in the crown of Japan’s controversial whaling programme. Read more

Pictured: Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, in the Southern Ocean. Photograph: Tim Watters/AP

Danish zoo that killed Marius the giraffe puts down four lions

A Danish zoo that prompted international outrage by putting down a healthy giraffe and dissecting it in public has killed two lions and their two cubs to make way for a new male.

Copenhagen zoo said:

Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behaviour, the zoo has had to euthanise the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves

The 10-month-old lions would have been killed by the new male lion “as soon as he got the chance”, it said. Read more

Siamese fighting fish - in pictures

These stunning portraits show Siamese fighting fish seemingly floating in mid air, displaying their long, flowing fins and brilliant colours. Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich uses specialist lighting and crystal-clear water to capture exuberantly finned and coloured varieties of Betta splendens. See more

Photograph: Caters News Agency

Photo highlights of the dayPeople rescue a horse from a pit in Jalandhar, Punjab. The horse was rescued after a two-hour operation. Photograph: AP

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world. See more

Snake eats crocodile in Queensland lake

A snake has eaten a crocodile in an epic duel captured by onlookers at a Queensland lake.

The whopper python took on the croc at Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa, on Sunday. A Mount Isa woman, Tiffany Corlis, was having breakfast nearby when canoeists racing on the lake alerted her about the endurance battle playing out nearby. Read more

Photograph: Tiffany Corlis/ABC North West Queensland/AAP

Husky! The dog taxi transfer service that collects you from the airport

A hotel in Norway has launched a “dog taxi” service, giving customers a chance to be collected from the airport in style. Read more

Photograph: Kirkenes Snow Hotel

Great snakes! California home found packed with pythons

A schoolteacher has been arrested after hundreds of living and dead pythons in plastic bins were found stacked floor to ceiling inside his stench-filled suburban California home.

As investigators wearing respirator masks carried the reptiles out of the house by the score and stacked them in the driveway, reporters and passers-by gagged at the smell. Some held their noses or walked away from the five-bedroom home to get a breath of air. Read more

Photograph: Wayne Lynch/Getty Images/All Canada Photos

Photo highlights of the day: A 63-year-old elephant enjoys a dip in the Indian Ocean. See more of the best photographs from around the world

Photograph: Mike Korostelev/Solent News & Photo Agency/Solent News

Photo highlights of the day: A glass frog on a skeletonized, caterpillar-eaten, piper leaf in a cloud forest in Costa Rica. This stunning image was taken by wildlife photographer Gregory Basco who shot it at night in the rainforest. Gregory Basco/Caters

Dark side of the zoo - captive animals in black and white

Alex Teuscher photographs captive animals in black and white, producing dark, atmospheric portraits. See more