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Daily Transporter: Government Goats Hit Bozeman

lounging and grazing

Four hundred and nine goats arrived by train to Bozeman, Montana, last week for a summer job. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is using the always-hungry grazers to help reduce brushfires, promote the growth of native plants, and effectively eliminate noxious weeds without herbicide.

See Bozeman in America’s Best College Towns

Editor’s Picks: Montana
World’s Top Adventure Trips
Coolest All-Inclusive Resorts
America’s Most Iconic Drives

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Wrestling Grizzlies

rough play

Before you visit British Columbia’s Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, be forewarned that no one can set foot on the 109,000-acre park: you hire an officially sanctioned sailboat and guide to take you. The pay-off? Unparalleled views of grizzly bears engaged in grizzly business like foraging and playing and fishing.

See Prince Rupert in World’s Most Beautiful Ferry Rides

Editor’s Picks: British Columbia
Best Adventure Travel Destinations
Best National Parks for Wildlife Spotting
On Thin Ice with Churchill’s Polar Bears

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Monument Valley

pop-ups in the navajo nation and monument valley

In 1849, one of the first U.S. soldiers to see Monument Valley dismissed it as "desolate and repulsive looking," but John Wayne—who starred in seven Westerns set in the 29 square miles of iconic red rock formations—called it "the place where God put the West."

See Monument Valley in America's Most Beautiful Landmarks

Editor’s Picks: Utah
Best Places to Rebound
Ultimate Adventure Travel Bucket List
Celebrities' Favorite Places

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Re-seeding the Great Barrier Reef

coral like jewels

When the Great Barrier Reef's coral spawned last year, scientists harvested enough sperm samples to start a cryogenically frozen coral sperm bank. They hope to use it to replenish failing reefs in the future. (Since 1985, 50% of the GBR's coral has been lost to disease, cyclones, and pollution, among other causes.)

See the Great Barrier Reef in Fastest Disappearing Natural Wonders

Editor’s Picks: Great Barrier Reef
World’s Best Islands
World’s Coolest Helicopter Rides
Great Adventure Cruises

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Little Big Cat

dreamy puss

Last week, guests at Kenya’s Olare Mara Kempinski safari camp didn’t need to join game drives to see lions up close—a lioness gave birth to two cubs under the platform of one of the luxury camp’s twelve tents.

See Masai Mara in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Kenya Game Parks
World’s Greatest Animal Migrations
World’s Most Romantic Sunsets
World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Elephants in China

yunnan's mountain lakes

The wild elephant population of China’s lushly forested Yunnan Province has grown to nearly 300, thanks to strict laws—poachers are subject to the death penalty—and feeding programs funded by the government. (China also compensates local farmers for sugar cane, rice, and banana crops lost to snacking pachyderms.)

See Yunnan Province in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Western China
New Wonders of the World
Newest Wonders of the World
It List: Best New Hotels

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Tanzania

wild chimpanzee

It was wildest, untouched Africa, and it was magic.
Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist who turns 80 years old today, arrived in Africa at age 23 intending only to visit a childhood friend’s farm in Kenya.

See Tanzania in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Tanzania
See Tanzania in World’s Greatest Animal Migrations
and Best Hotel Bathroom Views
A safari camp for chimpanzee-viewing: Greystoke Mahalepictured

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of Nomad Tanzania

Where the Wild Things Are: Q&A with "Wild Ones" Author Jon Mooallem

201304-b-jon-mooallemjpg

"When the nation was founded, it didn't have a Sistine Chapel or any Great Books. It had coastlines gushing with oysters and crustaceans, forests crammed with deer and wolves and, out on the frontier, some thirty million buffalo rumbling over the plains as a single, shifting spectacle." So writes Jon Mooallem in the introduction to his book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America (The Penguin Press).

While America may no longer teem with wildlife in quite the same way, Mooallem has dedicated much of his writingto documenting how humans interact with those species that remain. As a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and writer-at-large for San Francisco's beloved cult sensation Pop-Up Magazine, Mooallem has covered everything from a wild monkey in Tampa to "gay" birds in Hawaii and baby turtles suffering after the BP oil spill. And he hasn't ignored humans: Here he is on the history of the high five and the magic of long-lost wallets.

You get the sense from Wild Ones that the animal stories are Mooallem's passion, but that they aren't always easy to write, especially since, as he puts it, "The wild animals always have no comment." 

We asked Mooallem a bit more about his book and the many species—humans among them—he met during the course of writing it.

You went all over North America in search of places where people are interacting—in some cases in very odd ways—with endangered animals. What was the most interesting place to you as a writer and as a tourist?
Jon Mooallem: I spent some time traveling with a non-profit called Operation Migration, which teaches endangered whooping cranes how to migrate by training them to fly behind ultralight airplanes. They travel with the birds from Wisconsin to Florida. It’s a big swath of America that we tend to dismiss as Flyover Country, and they’re flying directly through it, very slowly, stopping for the night every 25 or 50 miles.

Read More

Trip Doctor: Sri Lankan Scientists ID New, Massive Spider

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Disclaimer: I'm an arachnophobe. When I plan my next vacation, the first thing I do is an online image search to see what the spiders are like there. (Example, brace yourself: Australia). I've known for a while that Sri Lanka, with its Huntsman spiders, was probably too scary for me. But with the news that there's another big spider on the island, you can definitely scratch the tropical paradise off my bucket list.

Scientists at the country's Biodiversity Education & Research organization have discovered a ginormous spider, dubbed the Poecilotheria rajaei. And by ginormous, I mean it has a leg-span of 8 inches – larger than the average human skull. Oh, and it’s super hairy too. And fast. And poisonous. And did I mention it’s ginormous?

Part of the genus Poecilotheria (lovingly called “Pokies” by those in-the-know), the rajaei has enough distinctive markings to constitute its own species, although no DNA samples have confirmed this. Specimens were found mostly in the island’s northern forests, although some were found in a hospital too. Extra creepy.

Peter Schlesinger is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by istockphoto

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