Are India’s Elephants Blessed Creatures or Indentured Servants?

Photographs of Majestic Animals Caught Between Two Roles—and Two Eras

In 2011, I visited the magnificent Amber Fort in Jaipur, in the Rajasthan region of India. The beautiful Hindu-style architecture of the fort is adorned with large ramparts and cobbled paths that overlook Maota Lake, where elephants give tourists rides. I was enchanted watching these majestic animals as they slowly and meticulously walked among people and cars without a glance sideways. They were dignified and elegant, and I was fascinated by the textures in their skin, large tusks, and flapping ears.

When a guide invited me to see a newborn …

Wisconsin, Monster Capital of America?

Forget Football and Cheese. My Home State Should Be Famous for Its Shaggy Werewolves and Shape-Shifting Schoolteachers.

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey may reverberate with the fetid screams of the cloven-hooved demon known as the Jersey Devil. The redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest may shake …

Dogs Get Dementia, Too

Our Canine Companions Are Living Longer—and Facing the Same Challenges as Humans

Zeigfield waddled, rather than walked, into my examination room. I had been seeing this obese Dachshund at my veterinary hospital for most of his 17 years, treating many of the …

The Tiniest, Most Cold-Blooded Killers in the City

Shocking Stories from L.A.’s Insect Underworld Read Better Than True Crime

As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, you might just be within arm’s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind–but …

A Chicken Slaughter, A Lesson in Force Protection

A Pentagon Journalist Learns a Hard Truth About Defense When a Fox Gets Into His Chicken Coop

The fox had been casing the joint for several minutes.

Afterward, a neighbor would report that she had seen the grayish-red beast lurking on the street as she went off to …

Why Marius the Giraffe Was Fed to the Lions

From Food to Sex, Europe’s Zoo Culture Is Nothing Like America’s

A few years ago, I attended a biannual convention of zoo nutritionists in Oklahoma for the book I was writing. Hanging out one night at the hotel bar with a …