Too Many Elephants · South Africa is looking to curb its rapidly growing population of elephants.

There are about 20,000 now, a number that could reach 34,000 by 2020 if nothing is done, officials say. The larger herds threaten the balance of nature in the country's wildlife parks.

To limit the impact of elephants, officials proposed yesterday to move some of the animals to new areas and build special enclosures to protect other species. Some elephants might be killed, officials say, but only as a last resort.

South Africa's elephant population was once near extinction, but it has been brought back through careful management. The animals have a big impact on the environment: A single elephant devours up to 660 pounds of grass, leaves and twigs each day.

Pandas Are Just Dandy

· You can't have too many panda cubs. Or so it would seem at the Wolong giant panda center in China, where 19 were born last year, up from 12 in 2005.

Wolong has so many young pandas that it has opened a sort of kindergarten for them. The cubs will spend a year there, without their moms, learning to play with one another.

About 1,600 giant pandas are thought to be living in the wild. More than 200 are being kept in captivity, including Tai Shan and his parents at the National Zoo.

This Spud Was No Dud

· An Italian grandmother grabbed a real hot potato when she opened a sack of spuds and pulled out a live hand grenade.

Olga Mauriello, 74, said it wasn't until she washed the dirt off what she thought was a potato that she realized she was actually holding "a bomb."

Police think the World War II-era grenade was dug up on a potato farm in France.