Illicit Ivory: A Film Worth Watching

elephant ivory

Everyone, it seems, loves elephants. A new film titled Illicit Ivory premiered last week on KCET in Southern California and elsewhere. You can watch it online at KCET.org/ivory. The trailer is at LinkTV.org/ivory. It’s an upsetting film. The good news? There is a groundswell of effort that is beginning to work to slow the ivory trade. […]

The glorious moms of elephants and whales

photo by Carl Safina

Adapted excerpt from Safina’s upcoming book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, in stores July 14, 2015. (CNN) Four mother elephants are keeping their rotund babies in the shade of their bodies as they lead them across a sweet-smelling grassland under an already-hot early equatorial sun. Striding with deliberate purpose as though keeping an appointment, […]

Big Love: The emotional lives of elephants

Photo by Wolf Ademeit

Adapted excerpt from Safina’s upcoming book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, in stores July 14, 2015. Alison, fifty-one years old, is right—there, in that clump of palms—see? And there is Agatha, forty-four years old. And this one coming closer now is Amelia, also forty-four. Amelia continues approaching until, rather alarmingly, she is looming […]

A Sea in Flames

Oil from the air near the bleeding well, June 2010.  Photo by Carl Safina.

Though a bit imprecise, the time, approximately 9:50 p.m. on April 20, 2010, marks the end of knowing much precisely. A floating machinery system roughly the size of a forty-story hotel has for months been drilling into the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. Its creators have named the drilling rig “Deepwater Horizon.” Oil […]

Lemurs of Madagascar

We were told that one dollar could buy us a sea turtle’s shell. Photo by Carl Safina

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. I’d just arrived in Madagascar for the first time. I was with the foremost expert on the primates called lemurs, trying to pay attention. I had everything to learn. We’d just gotten there on the shipNational Geographic Orion, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions. As soon […]

In the Agulhas

A juvenile Cape Gannet streaks in among a group of Spinner Dolphins – Photo by Carl Safina

March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of Good Hope is not actually the continent’s southern tip), it recirculates. […]