Moon Bears in Laos

MOON BEAR RESCUE Moon bears are being killed in Laos for use in Chinese & Vietnamese medicinal tonics & may soon be wiped out. I visited a Free the Bears rescue center in Laos that’s trying to stop the poaching. Betty & I helped feed the bears & watched them get excited about being spritzed with bear perfume.  We also met Champa, a bear who is the 1st ever recipient of a brain surgery in Laos.

Northern Lights Over Norway

El Sol, not satisfied with just doing his day job of bringing sunshine into our lives also adds light to our nights with colorful auroras over the northern and southern latitudes. This year the solar charged show is especially dramatic. Here are some picturess I took of the aurora borealis over Norway on New Year’s Day.

Antarctic Thanksgiving Bird

Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to talk turkey, but in Antarctica it’s the time to talk penguins which we do this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. We also talk about camping for five days while hanging off the side of a cliff on the frozen continent. Here’s some video of the penguins doing their thing backed by a little music from my friends, “Open Hands”

Elephant Snack

An African elephant can make quick work of a tree and this one did while I was filming at South Africa’s Royal Malewane Game Reserve.  This week when I heard the new poaching numbers that 22,000 elephants were killed last year & 25,000 the year before I thought of this encounter and how special it is to spend a day hanging out with these amazing creatures, but I also worried that this experience may be nearly impossible to enjoy in a few years if something isn’t done soon to stop the poaching.  I talk about the rise in poaching this weekend on my radio show, National Geographic Weekend.

World’s Biggest Snake

Awkward family pet photos, I was surprised to find a photo of myself on this website. But I must admit the picture was strange enough to qualify even if the snake wasn’t my pet. I tell the story of me & the world’s largest snake, and how “Fluffy” came to be slithering across my body this week on my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend.” The story & the snake are in this video.

Antarctica’s Thanksgiving Bird

Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to talk turkey, but in Antarctica it’s the time to talk penguins which we do this weekend on my radio show National Geographic Weekend. We also talk about camping for five days while hanging off the side of a cliff on the frozen continent. Here’s some video of the penguins doing their thing backed by a little music from my friends, “Open Hands”

Dorothy Donegan Milt Hinton Jam

Throwback Thursday. Old clip of great jazz pianist Dorothy Donegan & famous slap bass musician Milton Hinton jamming at out house in N.J. in ’93.  Didn’t have mics set up or my good cameras, but you can still get a sense of what an exceptional performer she was, who deserved even greater recognition outside jazz circles.  She did perform at the White House that same year & wearing the same sequined Chanel cap she had on in this video.

Elephant Wrestlemania

We had a ringside seat for what I call “Elephant Wrestlemania” at Royal Malewane Game reserve in South Africa. It was an incredible day of elephant entertainment and play fighting. Here are some video highlights.

World’s Best Polar Bear viewing

Polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada, a fall alternative to the usual trips of going someplace to watch the leaves change colors. On National Geographic Weekend I tell the story of my Halloween with polar bears & the story of the world’s foremost expert in polar bear posteriors.

Polar Bear Wrestlemania

Erica Matson is in Churchill, Canada this month working on a show about polar bears. That’s where I filmed one of my 1st stories for National Geographic.  The circle of life keeps on spinning. Here’s a video from my last trip to Churchill with lots of bears wrestling showing why Churchill is the best place for viewing polar bears.

Every fall polar bears gather near Churchill Manitoba, Canada waiting for the waters of Hudson Bay to freeze. The males spend part of that down time wrestling, sparing with each other.  This video shows some of the action with the bears standing on their hind legs, pushing, and shoving and fighting like big furry versions of Hulk Hogan and the Rock facing off in a cage match.