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June 15, 2014: Negotiating Elephant Truce With Armies, Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and More

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. This week, we negotiate a truce between armies and Central African forest elephants, find common ground between jazz and physics, learn to take a cover photo for National Geographic magazine, run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 straight days, learn the National Parks Service’s most secret places, and learn about panda bear’s reproductive difficulties.

Geography in the News: Declining Panda Habitat

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Lost Panda Habitat Two days after the devastating earthquake hit China in mid-May, 2008, officials were able to confirm that all of China’s estimated 239 giant pandas in captivity were alive and well. Unfortunately, the fate of the 1,590 pandas living in the wild…

September 29, 2013: Photographing Every Animal in Captivity, Saving Apes from Guerillas, and More

Join us this week, as we set a world record kayaking 151 miles in 24 hours, then build an Ark to help save all of the world’s animals, teach pandas to breed successfully, and finally, rekindle old friendships with indigenous people in Nepal after 45 years apart.

Panda Cub Dies at Washington National Zoo

The panda cub born a week ago at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., was found dead early today.

U.S.-born pandas take up new lives in China

Two giant pandas, Tai Shan and Mei Lan, were safely returned today their ancestral homeland, China, by special “Panda Express” air-freighter, Federal Express said in a news statement. Star attractions at their respective zoos, the pandas left the United States in style. Farewell events attended by hundreds of wellwishers were held for each of them…

Crowds brave snow to say farewell to Washington, D.C. panda

Snow and below-freezing temperatures didn’t keep visitors from coming to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo today to say goodbye to D.C.’s beloved panda, Tai Shan. . During his farewell celebration today, Tai Shan was presented with a special three-tiered purple and white frozen treat made of apples, carrots, beets and bamboo created by the Zoo’s commissary…

Washington D.C.’s baby panda Tai Shan to go to China

Tai Shan (tie-SHON), the first surviving giant panda cub born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, in Washington, D.C., will be sent to the People’s Republic of China in early 2010, as stipulated in the agreement between the Zoo and the Chinese government, the zoo said at a press conference today. Photo of Tai Shan by…

San Diego Zoo panda 100 days old and ready to be named (picture)

One hundred days old today and weighing in at 12.5 pounds, San Diego Zoo’s panda cub marked a milestone by cutting his first two teeth–the lower canines–near the front of his mouth. “The discovery came during a weekly veterinary exam on Thursday. The black-and-white bear’s teeth have been pushing at the gums for the last…

San Diego Panda Celebrates Birthday With Giant Fruit Cake

The San Diego Zoo’s youngest giant panda, Zhen Zhen, now 2, admires her fancy three-tiered birthday cake made of ice, carrots, bamboo and apples before enthusiastically devouring it, the zoo said in a caption submitted with this picture. Zhen Zhen celebrated her birthday yesterday in style–with cake and presents, the zoo added. “The gift boxes…

Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Giant Panda Cub Turns Four

Washington D.C.’s giant panda cub, Tai Shan, officially celebrated his fourth birthday this morning–complete with singing, guests and a massive, three-tiered “veggie-sicle” cake, Smithsonian’s National Zoo said.   “The frozen masterpiece was made over the course of two weeks by Zoo commissary staff by freezing a combination of water, beets and beet juice while enhancing it…

Sexy Beasts: Valentine’s Day Gone Wild

The birds and the bees don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, of course, but some certainly have bizarre mating rituals. Some of the stories National Geographic News published about this over the years included pandas watching porn, damselfly mating games that turn males gay, spiders that glow with fluorescence in the presence of potential mates, gorillas mating in the…

San Diego Panda Celebrates Birthday With Vegetable Cake

Celebrating his 17th birthday today, San Diego Zoo‘s male giant panda, Gao Gao, tucks into an ice cake stuffed with carrots, yams, apples and bamboo leaves — and drizzled with his favorite treat, honey. The panda was born in the bamboo forests of China, so his exact birth date is unknown, the zoo said in…

Smithsonian’s National Zoo Seeks Bamboo for Pandas

National Zoo giant pandas photo by Michael Nichols/NGS The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., appealed this week to local landowners and farmers to provide bamboo to feed to the zoo’s pandas and other animals. “The zoo will accept any species of bamboo, but it is most interested in species of the Phyllostachys genus, which can…