Amazing Wildlife: A San Diego Zoo Podcast

Amazing Wildlife: A San Diego Zoo Podcast

Did you know that in the world of elephants the females are the ones in charge? Or that a grizzly bear's bite is strong enough to crush a bowling ball? Amazing Wildlife gives a behind-the-scenes look inside the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park to gain insight on rare species and to explore the ongoing conservation efforts to save endangered wildlife no matter how big or small. Join us as hosts Rick Schwartz and Ebone Monet transport listeners around the globe to highlight the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s collaborative efforts with local communities to drive positive change for the future of animals and plants. Through one-of-a-kind stories, you’ll hear what it takes to create a healthy next chapter for not only wildlife, but also for the people that share their habitats.

Episodes

May 20, 2022 21 min

Amazing Wildlife takes a journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only place were you can find bonobos! Genetically speaking, this endangered great ape species are cousins to humans. Hosts Rick and Ebone discuss bonobos' unique social behaviors that gave them the reputation of being kind to strangers, having relatively peaceful societies, and being highly intelligent. Joining the show is Dr. Brian Hare, Professor of Evo...

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For this episode of Amazing Wildlife, we're taking a trip to the highest peak of the Galapagos Islands where a unique reptile calls home. The Galapagos Pink Iguana is so special that it was officially classified as its own species in 2009. Sadly, there are an estimated 200 to 300 remaining in nature. Hosts Rick and Ebone touch on the several obstacles young pink iguanas face in order to survive and disclose interesting facts ab...

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Amazing Wildlife takes a look at a tree-loving bear known for the light-colored fur around its eyes that looks like a pair of eyeglasses... the Andean bear! The Andean bear is special because it is the closest living relative of the extinct species of North American short-faced bear. Hosts Ebone Monet and Rick Schwartz explore the background of how this South American native has received its many names and how the prehistoric mamma...

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In this episode, Amazing Wildlife meets the longest member of the weasel family... the giant river otter! Hosts Rick and Ebone detail why the giant river otter is known as the “river wolf," its role in South America’s aquatic system, and what separates this species from the other otters. A Postdoctoral Associate in Recovery Ecology at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Dr. Adi Barocas, joins the show to discuss how these animals ...

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April 22, 2022 23 min

Amazing Wildlife explores the smallest of the large cats, but the largest of South America's big cats.. the Jaguar! Hosts Rick and Ebone Monet uncover the native habitat of South America’s only native big cat and how they have adapted for life in the tropical rainforest. You’ll find out from Dr. Mathias Tobler (a wildlife ecologist with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance) about what separates the jaguar from other big cats, wh...

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April 15, 2022 20 min

COVID-19 did not cause disruption on just the human population, but it also took a toll on some of our animal friends. Amazing Wildlife breaks down what happened when a troop of gorillas tested positive for COVID-19, and how wildlife care specialists at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park kept wildlife healthy during a pandemic. Hosts Rick and Ebone speak with Dr. Lauren Howard, associate director of veterinary services...

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Amazing Wildlife takes a journey to Central Africa to learn about forest elephants! Hosts Rick and Ebone are joined by Dr. Ekwoge Abwe, manager of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Central Africa Program’s Ebo Forest Research Project, which is encouraging local communities to take pride in the forest’s unique biodiversity and help protect forest elephants.

If you have a question for Amazing Wildlife you can send them to wildlife&...

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April 1, 2022 20 min

Amazing Wildlife’s special April Fools episode takes a look at opossums that play dead, insects that look like plants, and other wildlife that might fool you! Hosts Rick and Ebone unveil some of the surprising reasons behind the wild performances and a young explorer joins the conversation with questions about the deceptive animal behavior.

If you have a question for Amazing Wildlife you can send them to wildlife@iheartmedia.co...

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March 25, 2022 22 min

Amazing Wildlife is taking a leap into the colorful world of the butterfly! Rick and Ebone analyze how the shades of the butterfly wings that capture our attention serve a different purpose in nature. The hosts also explain the importance of the creature in order to help scientists measure the health of the planet. Later, Paige Howorth joins the show to give us insight on why the Quino checkerspot butterfly, native to southern Cali...

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March 18, 2022 29 min

When you think of owls, you may think of the nocturnal animal known for operating peacefully in a tree at night. But in this episode, Amazing Wildlife is exploring a special species, the burrowing owl that is active in the daytime and on the ground. Hosts Rick and Ebone dissect what makes these tiny birds so unique, what’s behind their declining numbers, and their connection to the decline in prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Coll...

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March 11, 2022 30 min

The more you know about bees, the more you can appreciate these unique insects and how they provide us humans with much more than just honey! Hosts Ebone Monet and Rick Schwartz explore the contributions of bees to our society and uncover the different colors of these insects besides just black and yellow! Dr. Keng-Lou James Hung, a Pollination ecologist and assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma stops by the show to dis...

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March 4, 2022 21 min

Today we’re talking about the animal who is pretty bare and whose home is in East Africa’s deserts... the naked mole-rat. These special beauties might not win any pageants, but they are fascinating! In this episode, hosts Rick and Ebone explore the mole rat’s status in nature, unique behaviors, and social structure. We’ll also hear from a young listener who will help us dig up the most interesting facts about these pink, wrinkly sk...

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We’re traveling to Mexico to explore the mysteriousness of the thick-billed parrot! Hosts Rick and Ebone explain how this red and green bird that was once found in a handful of regions in the Southwest is now reduced to an endangered population in the mountain forests of Northwest Mexico. Later, Amazing Wildlife is joined by Dr. Nadine Lamberski from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Nadine explains the current conservationist plan ...

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February 18, 2022 32 min

Once thought to be extinct, black-footed ferrets have another chance at survival! Hosts Rick and Ebone explore the reasons that the species is at risk and the animal’s interesting journey on a road to recovery. Pete Gober from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joins the show to give an inside look at the innovative science and technology responsible for these mammals making a comeback. Dr. Oliver Ryder, Director of Conservation Geneti...

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February 11, 2022 17 min

This episode is dedicated to conservation efforts to save the black rhino, which is unfortunately critically endangered due mostly to international trade in rhino horn. Hosts Ebone and Rick address this problem as well as how the size and strength of rhinos affects the way specialists at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park care for them. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance President and CEO Paul Baribault is back to discuss working with ...

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Who knew that leopards are attracted to perfume? Hosts Ebone and Rick talk to a San Diego Wildlife Alliance scientist, Dr. Nicholas Pilfold, about how a specific scent helped him photograph an elusive black leopard. Little is known about the population size or conservation status of African leopards, but Dr. Pilford gives details about the Uhifadhi wa Chui project that is trying to help change that. Uhifadhi wa Chui means “leopard ...

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January 28, 2022 29 min

They are black and white and loved all over. We’re talking about penguins! Hosts Ebone and Rick highlight the social dynamic of these flightless seabirds, and reveal how the San Diego Zoo is able to reflect the native habitat of African penguins, who live in a warm climate. Dr. David Roberts joins us from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, also known as SANCCOB, who are first responders for coast...

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January 21, 2022 23 min

Today we’re discussing the tallest land animals: giraffes! Hosts Rick and Ebone reveal interesting characteristics of the species, which can kill a lion with its kick—and we explore their unique features, such as hair-covered horns called ossicones. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance scientist Dr. Kirstie Ruppert joins the show to talk about her work with the Twiga Walinzi group to protect giraffes in Northern Kenya from being hunted ...

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They’re endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and found nowhere else in the world. We’re exploring how the introduction of cats, dogs, rats, and mongooses contributed to the population decline of a bird revered in Hawaiian culture—the ‘Alalā! President and CEO Paul Baribault joins the show as we learn about how San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and its partners are working to protect and breed this endangered bird so populations can fly th...

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January 7, 2022 23 min

They are among our closest relatives in the Animal Kingdom. We’re exploring unique facts about these charismatic, intelligent forest dwellers…gorillas! Hosts Rick and Ebone examine the similarities between gorillas and humans and reveal how gorillas are endangered—even though they have no natural predators. Biologist Dr. Bethan Morgan joins the show from Cameroon’s Ebo Forest, where a distinct sound led a San Diego Zoo Wildlife All...

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