Mr. Nature: Zebras on Red Alert

Jambo! Mr. Nature here, and today’s safari is a proper safari that takes us to somewhere in Africa to look in on the zebras.

The waterhole can be a dangerous place for zebras. Ambush predators are seldom far away. These zebras are barking up a storm and going on the alert because one of them has detected a lion nearby and given the alarm.

You’d think a striped horse would sound more like a horse; but nothing sounds quite like a zebra. I used to want to be one, when I grew up; but I never did master the zebra bark.

Mr. Nature: The Return of the Elephant Shrew

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Jambo! Mr. Nature here, in the Horn of Africa–and so is the elephant shrew.

Actually, this cute little guy didn’t “return” from anywhere. He’d never left. But for 50 years or so, scientists couldn’t find any–although the local people said yeah, sure, they’re still around. But now, finally, science has rediscovered the elephant shrew–with the aid of no-kill traps baited with… peanut butter. Somebody had a bright idea!

As tiny as it is, the elephant shrew is most closely related to aardvarks, manatees… and the elephant. Or so they tell me.

And if it had been a cryptozoologist who’d rediscovered it, he would have succeeded himself right out of a job.

The Honey Guide

No, it’s not a catalogue. It’s a wild bird that has a business relationship with the human beings in its neighborhood. (Thanks to Mike S. for sending us this video.)

Hi, Mr. Nature here. I don’t remember when I first learned about the honey guide. It was either in a “Mark Trail” Sunday color comic strip or one of those Golden stamp and coloring books.

But this bird is really cool. It will lead people to a beehive so they can collect the honey. In return, they share with the bird. This is not something that they teach the bird, so we wonder how the bird learns it. My guess would be from its parents. I’m not interested in any Darwinian fairy tales about “instinct” and “survival strategies.” It’s interaction between people and a wild bird.

It’s God’s stuff, and we love it.