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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Air Date: Week of January 23, 2004

Transcript

CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood and coming up: the use of mercury in cultural rituals. But first, check your calendar and see if you can join me May 1st to go on a safari to some of the wildest places in Africa. Sometimes the wildlife viewing can be sensational.

On one recent outing, our ranger took us up to an area where cheetah had been spotted earlier. Cheetah, the king sprinter of predators, are highly endangered, and now number only in the hundreds in the wild. Creeping up through the bush in a Land Rover we couldn’t see any cheetah, but we could see a lone impala making her way ahead of us. Then, low in the grass we spotted one cheetah, then two, then three. A mother out hunting with her adolescent cubs, our ranger explained.

The mother started stalking the impala and then broke off. “You do it,” she seemed to nod to one of her youngsters who took up the hunt, inching slowly towards the impala who seemed unaware of the impending danger. I wanted to shout a warning but I knew I shouldn’t interfere. Suddenly, like a shot, the cheetah took off and the impala sprinted away. A few moments later the cheetah had the impala by the neck. It was a harsh reminder that it is nature’s plan to eat and be eaten, and we’re a part of it.

I can’t promise that we’ll see a cheetah hunt during our Living on Earth safari to Kruger National Park and the Wild Coast of the Indian Ocean, but I do know that if you come you will see something that you’ll never forget. There are two ways you can be a part of our eco-tour, conducted by Heritage Africa. Win a trip for two or make sure you have a spot by buying a ticket right now. For details go to our website, livingonarth.org. That’s livingonearth.org for a chance at the trip of a lifetime.

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