National Zoo Blog
Keeping up with the pachyderms
Elephant Diaries, Smithsonian National Zoo

Elephant keeper Sean Royals has started a blog called “Elephant Diaries” on the National Zoo’s Web site. In his first post, available at
, Royals writes that the blog’s purpose is to keep volunteers and zoogoers informed about the new Elephant Trails exhibit and the zoo’s three Asian elephants. The pachyderms started moving into their new digs — which include a 5,700-square-foot barn, two new yards (one with a pool) and a quarter-mile walkway through woods — last July. The zoo is now in phase two of the Elephant Trails construction, which will continue until 2013. “Well, right now there’s more DEstruction than CONstruction. The old Elephant House is currently a rubble-filled shell,” Royals writes.

Saving Our oceans
Lay off shark fin soup
“Oceana,” (Rodale, $32.50)

Actor Ted Danson is best known for his part as Sam Malone in the old TV show “Cheers,” but his current role is that of ocean activist. Danson’s concern for the deep blue seas started when his daughter asked him why and how a beach could be closed for water pollution. This attractive, colorful book, which Danson co-wrote with Michael D’Orso, starts with a dissection of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster last spring and moves through issues such as global warming, overfishing and the sad state of fish farms. Each chapter ends with a “What You Can Do” page, whose ideas include not buying coral jewelry, contacting elected officials about the dangers of offshore drilling and not eating shark fin soup or bluefin tuna.

Rachel Saslow