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Episode 1212—Air Date: March 18, 2012

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about fighting on the front lines of rhino conservation, climbing Patagonia’s Cerro Torre and pulling out the bolts on the way down, developing new technology for high tech exploration, tackling Irish seals to see what they eat, teaching dogs to protect cheetahs, importing police dogs from Europe, traveling as a family, and drinking holy water in honor of St. Patrick.

HOUR 1

• Rhinos are facing their biggest threat of the past 20 years—the endless thirst of Southeast Asia’s demand for folk cancer cures. Peter Gwin visited South Africa to write "Rhino Wars" for the March 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine to report on the challenges of protecting the 1.5 ton creatures and their valuable horns.

Jason Kruk created a schism in the mountain climbing community when he and partner Hayden Kennedy unbolted the historic "Compressor Route" on Argentina’s iconic Cerro Torre peak. Kruk tells Boyd he expected backlash but was surprised at just how strong the reaction was.

National Geographic magazine’s world famous photos used to be limited by where its photographers could position themselves to capture images. Now, as Mark Bauman, SVP of Content Development for NG Mission Programs, tells Boyd, Nat Geo’s photographers have been set free by technology. Mark will moderate a demonstration on March 24 in Washington, DC, titled Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gee Whiz!

• With a team of six other scientists, grantee Michelle Cronin wrestles seals in Ireland so she can find out where they swim and what they eat. Cronin hopes to understand their diet in order to protect the seal from conflict with local fishermen.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the world’s smelliest plant, which emits a scent reminiscent of road kill and port-a-potties on a hot summer day.

HOUR 2

• Conservationist, zoo keeper and television host Jack Hanna is well known for his outgoing personality and his love of animals. He joins Boyd to discuss a creative program that protects cheetahs by protecting livestock with loyal Anatolian shepherds.

• Many American cities are bolstering their shrinking police budgets by tapping into a strong Eastern European tradition of service and military dogs. Trained police dogs are able to track and subdue criminals with a higher success rate than four human officers, and do it in less time. The New Yorker magazine’s Burkhard Bilger tells Boyd about his experiences reporting on the dogs.

• Are you waiting for your kids to grow up before taking an international vacation as a family? National Geographic Traveler editor in chief Keith Bellows suggests that you don’t wait if you want to instill a curiosity and wanderlust in your children. He suggests kid-friendly destinations in the March/April issue of Traveler.

• In honor of Saint Patrick, Boyd chats with grantee Celeste Ray, who has sampled the miraculous waters of Ireland’s "Holy Wells" in order to create a master map and preserve them for posterity.

• In his regular Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares the story of his failed “Butch and Sundance” adventure riding dirt bikes in Patagonia with Lyle Lovett and biking legend Malcolm Smith. Boyd wipes out but lives to tell the tale.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1212—Air Date: March 18, 2012

  • 00:11:00 Peter Gwin

    Rhinos are facing their biggest threat of the past 20 years – the endless thirst of Southeast Asia’s demand for folk cancer cures. Peter Gwin visited South Africa for the March issue of National Geographic Magazine to report on the challenges of protecting the 1.5 ton creatures and their valuable horns.

  • 00:09:00 Jason Kruk

    Jason Kruk created a schism in the mountain climbing community when he and partner Hayden Kennedy unbolted the historic Compressor Route on Argentina’s iconic Cerro Torre peak. Kruk tells Boyd he expected backlash but was surprised at just how strong the reaction was.

  • 00:06:00 Mark Bauman

    National Geographic magazine’s world famous photos used to be limited by where its photographers could position themselves to capture images. Now, as Mark Bauman, SVP of Content Development for NG Mission Programs tells Boyd, NG’s photographers have been set free by technology. Mark will moderate a demonstration on March 24, titled Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gee Whiz!

  • 00:08:00 Michelle Cronin

    With a team of six other scientists, grantee Michelle Cronin wrestles seals in Ireland so she can find out where they swim and what they eat. Cronin hopes to understand their diet in order to protect the seal from conflict with local fishermen.

  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the world’s smelliest plant, which emits a scent reminiscent of road kill and port-a-potties on a hot summer day.

  • 00:11:00 Jack Hanna

    Conservationist, zoo keeper and television host Jack Hanna is well known for his outgoing personality and his love of animals. He joins Boyd to discuss a creative program that protects cheetahs by preventing them from picking off livestock by protecting livestock with loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.

  • 00:09:00 Burkhard Bilger

    Many American cities are bolstering their shrinking police budgets by tapping into a strong Eastern European tradition of service and military dogs. Trained police dogs are able to track and subdue criminals with a higher success rate than four human officers, and do it in less time. The New Yorker magazine’s Burkhard Bilger tells Boyd about his experiences reporting on the dogs.

  • 00:06:00 Keith Bellows

    Are you waiting for your kids to grow up before taking an international vacation with your kids? National Geographic Traveler editor in chief Keith Bellows suggests that you don’t wait if you want to instill a curiosity and wanderlust in your children. He suggests kid-friendly destinations in the March/April issue of Traveler.

  • 00:08:00 Celeste Ray

    In honor of Saint Patrick, Boyd chats with grantee Celeste Ray, who has sampled the miraculous waters of Ireland’s Holy Wells in order to create a master map and preserve them for posterity.

  • In his regular Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares the story about his failed “Butch and Sundance” adventure riding dirt bikes in Patagonia with Lyle Lovett and biking legend Malcolm Smith. Boyd wipes out but lives to tell the story.