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It was hot at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Really hot. The iPhone weather app displayed a sweltering 100 degrees.

"It feels like a million degrees," says Tammy Long, who was visiting from Pennsylvania with her husband and 2-year-old daughter. "It's sweltering out here."

Parents and kids crowd under what look like giant shower heads throughout the park. Cool mist covers them from head to toe.

Families camp out in the shade, many with ice cream in their hands. Craig Saffoe says this works for the lions and tigers, too.

'If, for my birthday dinner, I could order anything I wanted, I'd request a Maine lobster or a tarantula spider. ' - David George Gordon
Courtesy of Chugrad McAndrews

Deborah Wang speaks with Seattleite David George Gordon, author of the "Eat-a-Bug Cookbook," about his favorite insects to eat and why. Plus: what he serves to trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Want to get started with entomophagy? See Gordon's recipe for deep-fried tarantulas. Or head over to Central Co-op in Seattle to pick up some crickets.

Smack in the middle of this summer of American political and societal turmoil, I'm hearing a lot about how important it is to seek out and listen to people whose ideas diverge from one's own.

None of us should want to dwell in an echo chamber. Taking up this philosophy, today I embark on a series of conversations (to appear about once a month) with people whose ideas diverge significantly from my own.

The goal? To get past hard-and-fast assumptions, to open up a space for dialogue, and see what happens.

First up: hunting.

Humpback whale off of Victoria, British Columbia.
Flickr Photo/Ivan Wong Rodenas (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Ehzb6P

This summer is proving to be a bonanza for whale-watchers.

According to The Pacific Whale Watch Association, tourists and researchers are seeing groups of humpback whales in the Salish Sea and Puget Sound nearly every day.

Washington's increased bald eagle population may dismiss them from the endangered species list.
Flickr Photo/Kenneth Cole Schneider (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/jxtHAq

Nationally associated as an emblem of authority and statehood, bald eagles are "sensitive."

At least that’s how they’re classified by the Washington State Wildlife Commission. But there's power in numbers -- and their population continues to grow.

A plan to effectively remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list has been successfully added to a larger U.S. House appropriations bill.

The House voted to attach the amendment to legislation funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

A federal agency has approved the continued killing of California sea lions that are eating salmon and steelhead near the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam.

NOAA Fisheries announced Wednesday it is allowing Oregon, Washington and Idaho to continue what the agency is calling the "lethal removal" of those sea lions until the middle of 2021.

More than 5,000 black bears live in New Hampshire, and can be found in almost every part of the state. But Andrew Timmins, who grew up there, didn’t see his first bear until he was nearly 20. Now, as the state’s Bear Project leader, he sees lots of them.

Sean Hurley of Here & Now contributor New Hampshire Public Radio spent a day with Timmins at a bear hotspot near a popular ski resort and learned how Timmins catches and relocates troublesome bears.

This story has been updated.

A wildfire that broke out near Cle Elum Saturday has been fully contained according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. The 50-acre fire caused several homes to be evacuated and threatened Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

week in review radke
KUOW/Bond Huberman

On Wednesday Seattle media devoted their coverage to people experiencing  homelessness. That same day billionaire Paul Allen announced he would invest $1 million to build 13 units in Columbia City for people who are homeless. Is this a workable solution? 

Top read: This little yellow house tells the story of Seattle

Earlier this year two Seattle police officers shot and killed a man named Che Taylor. This week the Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board ruled that the shooting was “reasonable.” Are these shootings happening because the police have a problem with implicit bias?      

The Sound Transit 3 plan is ready for your ballot this November, but are we ready for it? Is Sound Transit moving too fast with this major transportation plan?

Frigatebirds, seagoing fliers with a 6-foot wingspan, can stay aloft for weeks at a time, a new study has found. The results paint an astonishing picture of the bird's life, much of which is spent soaring inside the clouds.

NOAA: Don't touch the seal pups

Jun 29, 2016
Harbor seal pup
Flickr Photo/Tambako the Jaguar (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/hkwU5y

Bill Radke speaks with Michael Milstein, spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, about why people should not interfere with seal pups even if they look to be abandoned. 

If you want to know how our relationship with wildlife has changed, consider how two different Seattle aquariums provided their visitors up-close encounters with one of the world’s largest predatory sharks.

In the 2000s, the Seattle Aquarium used underwater cameras so guests could watch sixgill sharks glide through the waters of Elliott Bay.

A crisp wind rakes the surface of Hood Canal, a narrow, 68-mile waterway and Puget Sound’s westernmost reach.

A group of divers emerges from the chop and wades ashore. They’ve just finished their first open-water dive.

“Congratulations. You’re certified,” said Callie Renfro, the dive instructor.

Sixgill shark in the waters around Seattle.
Screenshot from YouTube

Emily Fox talks with filmmaker Michael Werner about his new documentary, "Mystery Sharks of Seattle." It airs on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on KCTS.

When you think about fish, it's probably at dinnertime. Author Jonathan Balcombe, on the other hand, spends a lot of time pondering the emotional lives of fish. Balcombe, who serves as the director of animal sentience for the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that humans are closer to understanding fish than ever before.

"Thanks to the breakthroughs in ethology, sociobiology, neurobiology and ecology, we can now better understand what the world looks like to fish," Balcombe says.

A Colorado woman managed to fight off a mountain lion that was attacking her 5-year-old son.

During the harrowing rescue Friday evening, she "reached into the animal's mouth and wrested her son's head from its jaws," The Aspen Times reported.

The Oregon Supreme Court says dogs are more than simply property. Justices Thursday overturned a lower court's ruling that found that taking a blood sample from a dog was a warrantless search.

In an unusual sign of tension between two of Oregon’s most powerful Democratic officeholders, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a blistering letter to Gov. Kate Brown saying she appeared to mislead him on a controversial environmental issue.

DeFazio is a key congressional champion of recovering wolf populations that were once hunted to the point of extinction. In his June 9 letter, he criticized Brown and her staff for the way they handled a bill in the Oregon Legislature that could weaken protections for wolves.

Baltimore's National Aquarium has announced plans to create an oceanside dolphin sanctuary, billed as the first of its kind for the marine mammals in North America.

The aquarium says it hopes to move its colony of eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to an outdoor facility with natural seawater by 2020. A team is currently scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean for the habitat, which they are calling "a new option for human care of dolphins."

It’s been an unseasonably warm June week at Oregon’s Diamond Lake.

This makes for some lovely fishing weather, but it’s not ideal for fish stocking. And that’s what a small group of employees with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are here for.

“As soon as Greg gives me the word, I’ll dump ‘em in,” says the fish deliveryman.

The thousands of fish traveled via small trailer through the night from a hatchery in Utah. The driver arrived about two hours early in an attempt to beat the heat.

A small monkey brought Kenya's electrical infrastructure to its knees for more than three hours on Tuesday with a nationwide blackout.

A powerful new technique for changing genes in insects, animals and plants holds great promise, according to a report from an influential panel of scientists released Wednesday. But the group also says it's potentially very dangerous.

Baby gorilla Yola and mother Nadiri at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo/Jeremy Dwyer

Last November, Woodland Park Zoo was excited to announce the birth of gorilla Yola.

The birth was natural, as zookeepers had hoped – they didn’t intervene. But then Nadiri walked away from her baby.


Beekeepers Feel The Sting Of Stolen Hives

Jun 6, 2016

Between December and March, beekeepers send millions of hives to California to pollinate almond trees. Not all of the hives make it back home.

"The number of beehive thefts is increasing," explains Jay Freeman, a detective with the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

In California, 1,734 hives were stolen during peak almond pollination season in 2016. In Butte County alone, the number of stolen hives jumped from 200 in 2015 to 400 this year, according to Freeman.

The federal government is moving to ban virtually all sales of items containing African elephant ivory within the U.S. For a long time it's been illegal to import elephant ivory. This new rule extends the ban to cover ivory that's already here.

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said.

Thanks to scientists from The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, it might be time for an update:

Worldwide reaction continues in the aftermath of last Saturday's tragic incident at the Cincinnati Zoo in which the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla Harambe was shot to death by zoo personnel.

Male orb-weaving spiders get devoured by the females they mate with, but a newly published study shows that at least the poor guys get to choose the lovely lady who will cannibalize them.

Thai authorities found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer during a raid on a Buddhist temple Wednesday.

Authorities say they don't know why the cubs were kept but plan to investigate. The temple, for its part, says the cubs died of natural causes and were preserved by a veterinarian, possibly to prove that the bodies had not been sold on the black market.

The "Tiger Temple" in Kanchanaburi province charged admission and let visitors pose with tigers, The Associated Press reports.

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