Archives for January, 2011

Quill Attack

Temperatures and tensions rise as summer starts at the DeYoung Family Zoo. With crowds pouring in, Bud and Carrie struggle to keep up.  Their to-do lists grow longer and longer by the minute.  And Emo, an inbred white tiger, must be neutered to protect future generations from genetic defects. Bud and Carrie struggle to prepare…

Raccoon Removal

© Matt Shakespeare/Granada Anglia Raccoons are bandit-masked, adaptable omnivores, living about two or three years in the wild. They’ll eat almost anything and can live in a variety of habitats – from forests to prairies to cities. In our cities, human and nuisance animal conflicts are commonplace. And a frightened suburban resident has called the…

After an article on an Australian website, News.com.au, quoted a physics professor saying that Betelgeuse might go supernova on us  and light up the sky like a second Sun, and speculated that it might happen next year, the the MSM and the blogosphere went into a frenzy.“Will the Earth have Two Suns by 2012?” a representative headline on Time.com…

In 1912, in the library of Nobile Collegio Mondragone, a Jesuit college near Rome, an American rare book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich discovered what may be the strangest and most puzzling book ever created. It consisted the book consists of 234 pages fashioned from animal skin, written in longhand in a bizarre, incomprehensible script, and illustrated…

Gator Battles Python

© Mike Barron The American alligator is a species success story. For millions of years, their kind has survived and evolved with the planet. And while the American alligator was once endangered, they now thrive in their native range, growing up to 15 feet in length. These giant reptiles are opportunistic hunters, lurking in waters…

Risky Business

© Jim Edds As we all know (especially Nat Geo Wild fans!), wildlife cinematography can be absolutely breathtaking, allowing us entry into an exotic world few humans get to experience first hand. But how did these images come to be? Who made them and under what conditions? Well, behind every camera is a person, and…

Hyena Hunt

© Herbert Brauer / Aquavision Wildlife Filmakers In the heart of Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia, spotted hyenas reign as the top predator. Known to many as a scavenging species, hyenas are also masterful hunters. They live, hunt and travel in groups called clans which can include up to 80 individuals. By tracking down…

Kangaroo Kick

Kangaroos have extremely muscular hind legs and enormous feet, giving them the ability to execute large jumps with every bound. In a single leap, a gray kangaroo can cover 25 feet in distances and jump 6 feet into the air! In short bursts, they can reach speeds of over 35 miles per hour, or travel…

Mudskippers in the Mangroves

Along the northern shores of Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa, there’s a place of constant shift and change: the mangroves. Perfectly positioned between the sea and a series of lakes, this unique place makes it possible for diverse ecosystems to flourish side by side. Within this finely-balanced environment there lives the strange mudskipper, a…

Hippo Phobia

© NGT Written by Dr. Brady Barr, Dangerous Encounters: In Africa, hippos and crocs generally live in the same parts of the river – they’re like two cold war superpowers living by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction! They’re both so powerful and so well armed that they don’t really fight, since if one attacks…

Beluga Whale Encounter

When I was a kid, my dad took me to the aquarium to see beluga whales. I was instantly enamored with their glistening silvery-white bodies, loud vocalizations and charming social behaviors. It’s been about thirty years since that day, but last weekend I finally had the chance to get closer to white whales. Along with…

Seal Island

© Africa Wildlife Films In South Africa’s False Bay, Cape Fur seals gather by the tens of thousands to escape the ocean’s largest predatory fish – the great white shark. Here at Seal Island, seals rest and breed between migrations into the rich fishing grounds beyond. But these seals must run a gauntlet of shark-infested…

Snake-Catching Robot

Catching a massive, venomous snake is dangerous business. But what if there was a safe way to capture the creature from a safe distance? Robots are often used for jobs that are too dangerous for humans, such as defusing bombs, capping oil wells deep down in the ocean, even exploring other planets. But can a…

Uganda Encounters

© NGT The following was written by Chris Dye, Associate Producer, about his experiences shooting Dangerous Encounters: “Man-Eating Crocodiles” in Uganda: Murchison Falls It took 3 days to get to Murchison Falls National Park from the states. A seventeen-hour flight to Johannesburg, a night there, four hours to Entebbe then a charter plane the next…

Tagging and Tracking Whale Sharks

Researchers often use technology to track the movements of animals. And although whale sharks are the planet’s largest living fish, relatively little is known about these ocean travelers. Tagging animals can help communicate key information about these unpredictable and mysterious marine giants – like distinct migration patterns, feeding behaviors and climate change responses.  Not all tracking…

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Restrepo is a feature-length film by award-winning photojournalist Tim Hetherington and journalist/author Sebastian Junger that chronicles the deployment of U.S. troops in the Korengal Valley, one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan.  The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost,…

Snorkeling with Wild Manatees

I’ll admit it. When my alarm went off at 3:45 in the morning on a holiday weekend, my first thought was this better be worth it. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE manatees. Who doesn’t melt at their adorable square snouts and droopy lips? But in the middle of the night? In forty-degree weather? For…

Hippo Arrival

© JWM Productions For more than two decades the DeYoung Family Zoo in Wallace, Michigan has been home to animals from across the globe. The owners of the zoo, Bud and Carrie, work hard to not only display exotic creatures, but also care for the region’s neglected and abused animals – a massive and never-ending…

Killer Crocs

© Paul Goldring In Uganda, Giant man-eating crocs have killed dozens of villagers living near Lake Victoria. These beasts have become accustomed to humans and now prey on them, even capsizing fishing boats. On an all-new episode of Dangerous Encounters, Brady Barr goes on a mission to help end this reign of terror and trains…

While we tend to remember Isaac Newton primarily for his contributions to theoretical physics, the late 17th-early-18th Century scientist and mathematician spent a lot of time delving into the shadowy supernatural, from alchemy to apocalyptic predictions. But as detailed in an coming program, “Secrets of the Dark Arts,” which airs at 9 p.m. on January 24, a…

These days, we’re all totally into our smart phones and tablet PCs, and their multiplicity of ingenious apps. But apparently, the 2nd Century BC Greeks had handheld gadgets, too. One intriguing example of Hellenic mobile technology remains: the Antikythera Mechanism, found slightly more than a century ago in the wreck of a Roman ship off the…

Black Widow Bite

The black widow – found in every U.S. state except for Alaska – is North America’s most venomous spider. Four species of widow spiders live in the United States. They thrive in hot climates, retreating to cool, dark spaces beneath woodpiles and within garages and basements when they need a break from soaring temperatures. Male black widows…

Today, when we think of lighter-than-air dirigibles, we think of ungainly blimps emblazoned with corporate logos that float over football stadiums. But back in 1933, when the USS Macon was commissioned by the U.S. Navy, they were called airships, and their enormous size inspired not amusement, but awe. The Macon was among the mightiest of…

Zoo, Sweet Zoo

© JWM Productions The following was written by Carrie Cramer (pictured above), Zoo Owner, My Life Is a Zoo: “One of the things people ask about the most is what it must be like living at our house. Well it’s a zoo inside and out. The house is not a typical house by any means.…

Bear Attack

© Grizzly Creek Films/ Rick Smith Naturalist Casey Anderson raised his six-foot, 800-pound best friend – grizzly bear Brutus – from birth. And for the last five spring seasons, Casey’s been safely studying wild bears’ natural behaviors in a cabin just west of Yellowstone. Ninety-nine percent of Yellowstone’s visitors never leave the park roads. Out…