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The 90-Second Naturalist Resolves To Focus On Positive Stories In 2018

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard is tired of 'doom and gloom' stories about nature. He's dedicating himself to focusing on optimistic ones in 2018 on his show The 90-Second Naturalist.

"The world's full of bad news," he says. "You can see it on the cover of every paper every day around nature, around icebergs melting, forests burning... but the truth is there's a lot of good news as well. Many species over the past 40 years are beginning to make a comeback. Some are famous like bald eagles right here in our area, but beyond those stories there are many places in the world where more people are working harder than ever to try protect wild lands and get it to so people live more sustainably and in cooperation with nature."

Maynard isn't worried about running out of stories during the year-long production called "Positive Nature."

He also balks at the idea that by only focusing on the positive, people might not grasp the importance of a particular situation.

"If you want to inspire people with wildlife - which is why the zoo is here - and you want to encourage them to get involved, telling them a success story and where people are doing good work is a much better invitation than saying everything's coming to a big crashing end."

Maynard is concerned conservation sometimes gets marginalized, when really it's for everyone.

"The most important single message we could tell is that it's not really just about saving eagles or saving alligators. Conservation actually is about preserving the way of life that people enjoy here on earth."

The 90-Second Naturalist is produced by Cincinnati Public Radio. It airs weekdays at 9:04 p.m. on 91.7 WVXU and around 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 90.9 WGUC.