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July 6, 2014 Show: Dispatches from War on Wildlife and Saving Children from Supersititon

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are leading the way to help save rhinos from South Africa by shipping them by airplane to Botswana, which is one of Africa's lowest poaching regions. (photo by Beverly Joubert)
Dereck and Beverly Joubert are leading the way to help save rhinos from South Africa by shipping them by airplane to Botswana, which is one of Africa’s lowest poaching regions. (photo by Beverly Joubert)

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend.

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If Africa’s savannas represent the front lines of the war on wildlife, National Geographic Explorers in Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert are some of conservation’s most decorated veterans. In this interview, the couple tell about the time they saw poachers shooting into an elephant herd, and without thinking, they immediately turned to chase the poachers off. They’re also working to diversify South Africa’s rhino holdings by shipping 100 on a cargo jet to Botswana, which is currently the safest place in the rhino’s range, due to the low level of government corruption. But Beverly is careful to point out that Africa’s poaching problem is largely driven by poverty. They’ve helped organize the second-ever Maasai Olympics, to help bring the communities together. 

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In his ongoing fight against deadly tribal taboos, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Lale Labuko shares successes he’s had in convincing Ethiopian tribal chiefs and elders to end the practice of “Mingi,” where they kill children who aren’t considered “normal” at birth. Lale points out that these children might have just been born out of wedlock, or have their bottom teeth appear before their top teeth, but if they betray a cultural taboo, they’re cast from the community. His organization, Omo Child, has been advocating for Mingi children, and also providing for them while the practice still persists in certain regions. 

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