Panda Mei Xiang hadn't given birth in seven years. After five attempts of trying to help her get pregnant, workers at the National Zoo were worried. So they started talking to her. One panda keeper told Mei Xiang, "I know you can do this." It worked — she gave birth Sunday night.
It would seem difficult to overlook something as large as a new species of monkey, but scientists had no idea about the lesula until just a few years ago when conservation biologist John Hart discovered a specimen being kept as a pet in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In retrospect, the monkey's striking, almost humanlike face should have made it hard to miss, and Hart, who spoke with All Things Considered host Melissa Block, is the first to admit that this new monkey was apparently not such a mystery to the Congolese themselves.
Patrick Karabaranga, a warden at the Virunga National Park, plays with an orphaned mountain gorilla at the park headquarters in Rumangabo, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on July 17. The Virunga park is home to about 200 mountain gorillas, approximately a quarter of the world's population.
When crossing from Uganda into Congo at the shabby border town of Bunagana, I encountered a broadly smiling man in a black leather jacket named Hamid Kashaisha.
He asked if I wanted to see the gorillas. I replied that it's guerrillas — with guns, that is — that I wanted to see: the M23 rebels who, for the past two months, had occupied a piece of real estate in eastern Congo larger than Delaware.