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Episode 1114—Air Date: April 2, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about a lion attack, rafting across the Atlantic, sperm whale names, running with cheetahs, walking from Siberia to Australia, becoming a supermodel, eating parrotfish, saving sharks, and racing across the Gobi.

HOUR 1

• Conservationist Tony Fitzjohn tells Boyd about the time he found himself on the ground with his head entrapped in the mouth of a lion. Fitzjohn thought his fate was sealed, but his mentor, George Adamson, came to the rescue. For 18 years, Fitzjohn worked with Adamson to return lions and leopards to the wild in Kenya. Fitzjohn describes his harrowing adventures in his new book, Born Wild. (See Book On Random House Web Site)

Anthony Smith is out to prove that you are never too old for an adventure. At 85, Smith and three other “senior” gentlemen are sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a 39-foot raft made of water pipes and dubbed the An-Tiki. Smith and his crew undertook the expedition to highlight the world’s water crisis and show others that extreme adventures have no age limit. Smith Joins Boyd via satellite phone from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic. (An-Tiki Web Site)

• Biologist Luke Rendell of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews says sperm whales may have names. Subtle variations in whale calls, recorded by Rendell and his colleagues, suggest that sperm whales are identifying themselves with specific clicks. Redell talks with Boyd about his findings and plays some of the whale audio he has recorded. (Related Link on Wired.co.uk Web Site)

• National Geographic Big Cat Initiative Grantee Sarah Durant is working to save cheetahs and wild dogs. A senior research fellow at the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Durant is leading a team of conservationists across Africa to preserve these large carnivores. (Visit CheetahAndWilddog.org)

• National Geographic's daily online news editor David Braun shares some of the week’s hottest stories, including why female tears turn men off. (National Geographic News)

HOUR 2

• Twenty years ago, Sarah Marquis went out for a little stroll; 18,600 miles later she is still walking. Marquis walked across the Australian Outback for 17 months, often surviving on lizards she hunted herself. Marquis also spent eight months hiking along the Andes. Boyd catches up with Marquis via phone in the midst of her current two-year trek from southern Siberia to Australia. (Sarah Marquis' Web Site)

• Filmmaker Sherry Hormann’s new movie Desert Flower, from National Geographic Entertainment, tells the difficult, yet uplifting story of Somali model and actress Waris Dirie. The child of Somali goat herders, Dirie was discovered by a photographer at the age of 18 and later became a supermodel, film star, and United Nations Special Ambassador for women's rights in Africa. (Watch the Movie Trailer)

• National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Clare Fieseler studies the beautiful, tropical parrotfish. With overfishing a serious issue, the government of Belize enacted new conservation laws to protect the parrotfish species and other endangered marine wildlife. Fieseler is studying the effectiveness of the ban—the first of its kind—and discusses her results with Boyd. (Clare Fieseler's Profile on the Duke University Web Site)

• Up to 73 million sharks a year are slaughtered to make shark fin soup, says Peter Knights, co-director of the conservation group WildAid. Knights joins Boyd to explain why new legislation in California prohibiting the sale of shark fins is needed. (WildAid Web Site)

Boyd talks about the trials and tribulations of walking across the Gobi.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1114—Air Date: April 2, 2011

  • 00:11:00 Tony Fitzjohn

    Conservationist Tony Fitzjohn tells Boyd about the time he found himself on the ground with his head entrapped in the mouth of a lion. Fitzjohn thought his fate was sealed, but his mentor, George Adamson, came to the rescue. For 18 years, Fitzjohn worked with Adamson to return lions and leopards to the wild in Kenya. Fitzjohn describes his harrowing adventures in his new book, “Born Wild.”

  • 00:09:00 Anthony Smith

    Anthony Smith is out to prove that you are never too old for an adventure. At 85, Smith and three other “senior” gentlemen are sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a 39-foot raft made of water pipes and dubbed the “An-Tiki.” Smith and his crew undertook the expedition to highlight the world’s water crisis and show others that extreme adventures have no age limit. Smith Joins Boyd via satellite phone from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

  • 00:09:00 Luke Rendell

    Biologist Luke Rendell of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews says sperm whales may have names. Subtle variations in whale calls, recorded by Rendell and his colleagues, suggest that sperm whales are identifying themselves with specific clicks. Redell talks with Boyd about his findings and plays some of the whale audio he has recorded.

  • 00:08:00 Sarah Durant

    National Geographic Big Cat Initiative Grantee Sarah Durant is working to save cheetahs and wild dogs. A senior research fellow at the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Durant is leading a team of conservationists across Africa to preserve these large carnivores. Visit Durant's website CheetahAndWilddog.org.

  • National Geographic's daily online news editor David Braun shares some of the week’s hottest stories, including why female tears turn men off. Visit National Geographic Daily News for more stories.

  • 00:11:00 Sarah Marquis

    Twenty years ago, Sarah Marquis went out for a little stroll; 18,600 miles later she is still walking. Marquis walked across the Australian Outback for 17 months, often surviving on lizards she hunted herself. Marquis also spent 8 months hiking along the Andes. Boyd catches up with Marquis via phone in the midst of her current two-year trek from southern Siberia to Australia.

  • 00:09:00 Sherry Hormann

    Filmmaker Sherry Hormann’s new movie “Desert Flower,” from National Geographic Entertainment, tells the difficult, yet uplifting story of Somali model and actress Waris Dirie. The child of Somali goat herders, Dirie was discovered by a photographer at the age of 18 and later became a supermodel, film star and United Nations Special Ambassador for women's rights in Africa.

  • 00:06:00 Clare Fieseler

    National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Clare Fieseler studies the beautiful, tropical parrotfish. With overfishing a serious issue, the government of Belize enacted new conservation laws to protect the parrotfish species and other endangered marine wildlife. Fieseler is studying the effectiveness of the ban–the first of its kind—and discusses her results with Boyd.

  • 00:08:00 Peter Knights

    Up to 73 million sharks per year are slaughtered just to make soup, says Peter Knights, co-director of the conservation group WildAid. New legislation in California would prohibit the sale of shark fins. Knights joins Boyd to explain why this new law is needed.

  • Boyd talks about the trials and tribulations of walking across the Gobi Desert.