An Explorer's Harrowing Encounter

Wildlife Biologist Mike Fay Recounts Elephant Attack

Michael Fay, right, sits before a morning campfire in Africa.

Conservationist Mike Fay, right, sits before a morning campfire on day 26 of his 2,000-mile journey across central Africa. National Geographic Staff Photographer Michael Nichols hide caption

itoggle caption National Geographic Staff Photographer Michael Nichols

A few years ago, NPR's National Geographic Radio Expeditions followed a wildlife biologist on his extraordinary research walk across Africa's Congo Basin. Mike Fay covered 2,000 miles to the Atlantic coast of Gabon. But that was hardly the end of his adventures.

Since completing his walk, Fay has continued to work for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society. He played a crucial role in establishing 13 national parks in Gabon, an act that became official only this week. But the explorer might have missed the occasion because last week he came close to dying in an attack by an elephant. He was at one of the new parks, at the very place where he finished his walk two years ago. NPR's Alex Chadwick talks with Fay about the encounter for Morning Edition.

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