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This is European stock book number four, 4345 or better known as Marius the Giraffe.
Marius was a two year old male reticulated giraffe who was deemed surplus to the needs of the international stud book.
As a consequence, he was euthanized.
He was dissected to obtain scientific samples and to educate service's.
And ultimately he was fed to a prey, a pride of lions, and I was one was shot him.
I was the one standing outside the giraffe house with a light rifle and a heavy heart.
As Marius came out on a cold February day, I looked at him, came out starting to sniff the cold air, started to eat a bit.
He didn't know what was coming.
Thankfully yet no idea.
But I did still looking at this amazing animal, one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.
Still, I lifted the rifle, pulled the trigger, and Marius was dead before anybody heard the sound of the gun.
I took no pleasure in shooting a healthy giraffe, but I understood the difference between survival, often individual and survival of a species, and I understood that if Marius had been castrated and maintained in the breeding program, he would have taken up space that would have prevented a valuable female from producing valuable offspring to sustain the species.
Life and death is part of my work.
I was there when Marius was born, and I was there when he died.
And I'm here to tell you why, under similar circumstances, I would do the same thing again.
I'm a zoo veterinarian.
I've dedicated my career to working with exotic and often it's endangered animals.
Together with colleagues and zoos around the world.
I work to preserve species and to educate people about animals, about biodiversity, about life, really, but also how death is part of life.
When I graduated from vet school, like all of my new colleagues, I think I wanted to save every species, every patient, every animal.
And I guess I still do somehow.
But 20 years of working with Khan observation of animals has taught me to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is a saving species, and in that bigger picture, the individual is less important than the population.
As a veterinarian, I'm licensed to kill.
That means that I have the right and sometimes the duty to kill animals.
If an animal is horribly sick, it's a privilege to be able to end a life if it's young and healthy as Marius Waas, it's a tough task.
Some argue that it's wrong to kill animals altogether to play God, as they say.
Yet as soon as any human being resumes responsibility for any animal, we've already taken on that very role.
We decide when the dog gets to go for a walk.
We decide when the cat gets fed with a flick of a switch.
We decide when the day begins in the whole Spahn or the goldfish bowl.
In the terrarium, we decide when the sunshine and when it rains in the zoo, we decide which animals get to breed and which do know if an animal is sick, we might decide to treat it to prolong its life.
And ultimately we oftentimes decide when an animal dies.
We do all that because we care.
We care for the animals and we care for sustaining animal life on this planet.
But if you care so much, why'd you kill Marius?
You might ask, and to answer that, we need to take another state back step backwards and ask, Why do we have sues?
And do zoos have a role to play in the 21st century?
And the answer is unequivocally yes.
In a world where thousands of animal species are threatened by extinction, zoos are more important than they ever were.
In the old days, zoos were part of the problem, unsustainably bringing animals in from the wild to exhibit in small cages, sometimes even to ridicule.
Good Suze a part of the solution.
As conservation centres responsible zoos revolve around protecting animals and the habitats.
Today, responsible zoos are about animal welfare and conservation.
Conservation is achieved through a four pronged approach.
Firstly, responsible zoos protect wildlife in the wild by participating in anti poaching activities.
By planting corridors to connect fragmented populations are habitats and by helping policymakers make the right decisions.
And so is educate people living alongside the animals to make them respect and care for their animals, whether it be in the Indonesian jungle or the Danish countryside.
Secondly, responsible zoos protect wildlife by captive breeding off endangered species.
As a Noah Sokal, let's be realistic annoys lifeboat.
If Suze come together to safeguard a certain species and strict care is taken to responsibly managing the genetic pool.
Then that species can be kept safe even if it were lost in the wild.
Several species, either almost or completely extinct in the wild, have been re established based on zoo populations.
Good examples include the golden Lion tamarin here in the Arabian oryx and closer to home, several Danish amphibian species have been reinforced through captive breeding and reintroduction of thousands of toads into restored ponds and wetlands.
Certainly responsible zoos enable conservation through research, scientific insights obtained in zoos and then be used to protect animals in the wild.
But probably the most important thing, the most important way that zoos can promote conservation is through education, education and fascination in modern societies.
Further and further away from the wild, away from agriculture, fishing and farming and hunting zoos offer humans glimpse off the natural world a chance to reconnect with animals, an opportunity to see for yourself the size of the elephant smell.
The penguin will hear the roll off the line a moment to realize that we people are only a small piece in that huge and complicated puzzle we call life and once that connection is made, once a person has been touched by animals, so was have an amazingly powerful platform to educate their visitors about biodiversity.
About illegal pet trade, responsible logging, sustainable fisheries, recycling plastic in the oceans responsible.
Suze can educate people to make better choices, but in order to fascinate and educate and to be that Noah's life boat zoos need animals for the speeches that that's still thrive in the wild.
It would be short sighted and ethically wrong to continue to bring them into captivity and for the animals already extinct in the wild.
Obviously, that's no longer an option.
Sues must have sustainable animal populations and so is must ensure, through continued breeding that in 50 or 100 years, the populations that we have in our care are still as robust as healthy.
And that's genetically varied as they are today.
And to achieve that goal, one has to prioritize the population over the individual to see the bigger picture, so to speak, we need to see choose survival off the reticulated giraffe is a species over Marius, the individual.
If populations are to remain stable, we need a constant turnover.
Why not just use contraception.
You might ask to keep that overproduction down.
Well, As it turns out, we can fairly easily turn off reproduction through contraceptives or through simple separation of males and females.
But turning it back on is very complicated and sometimes impossible.
So, in other words, if sue stop breeding a certain species because they're worried about what to do with a surplus off offspring, the result may well be that in a few years that population will crash due to insufficient birth.
In other words, it's more responsible to produce a certain surplus of animals, some of which will have to be euthanized, then not to breed because the only alternative to a surplus it's a deficit.
And when we're talking endangered animals, a deficit translates into extinction.
As you can hear, stewarding these animal populations is an immense responsibility, and it's one that comes with difficult decisions and dilemmas, and the responsible and scientifically sound decisions are not necessary.
The most popular ones.
When Marius the giraffe was shot, a lot of people understandably spoke up based on their gut reaction that this beautiful and healthy animal was fed to the lions rather than be allowed to establish a breeding group of his own.
What they failed to realize was that even if he lived for only two years, Marius still contribute to the sustainability of the species, as I just talked about but also contributed to the welfare of his mother and his mother herd mates.
It boils down to quality of life versus quantity of life.
And I choose quality in the safe environment of a zoo where animals don't have to spend much time finding food and spend no time escaping their enemies.
What are they to do with that days?
And what are we to do to make sure that we fill up there lives to give them something useful to do what they to do with their lives?
What we can do is we can allow them to breed and elements contraceptive or simply separated from a potential made is deprived from one of the fundamental aspects of animal life.
The behavior off reproduction.
One of the most fundamental instincts of all living creatures is to breed to pass on your genes to the next generation through evolution, every individual, every species that did not master this ah long ago, extinct and all other biological functions sleeping, drinking, eating and keeping safe are merely necessary functions to obtain the goal off.
Passing on your genes.
If you take a look at this picture of this line, he's fat us a pick, and you could argue that he's got human company.
But there's something missing in this picture, and that's the opportunity to breed.
And I would wager that I would rather be This lion in my zoo, surrounded by a couple of Linus is and multiple offspring in a natural group.
Allowing zoo animals to breed provides them with countless hours off meaningful content in their lives, from courtship off a mating in this building, fighting off computer competitors, pregnancy brooding, taking care of the young and eventually kicking out the juveniles are sub adults, kicking them out of the family group or out of the hood.
It all provides purpose in life, and this applies whether you're a lion or flamingo or a polar bear or even a giraffe.
And this is Marius when he was born, and I think from this image you can almost see how much this means to marry his mother.
You can almost tell that she has provided with meaningful content in her life for 2 to 3 years and at that stage is being a young male.
The hurt ball will victim from the family, start chasing himself and in the zoo it becomes our responsibility to make sure that he is removed, either by finding him, ideally finding him a new home, or if for the reasons I already mentioned, that's not possible to providing a quick and painless death.
Marius was born to ensure the Welfare Office heard on the future of his species.
He was shot because it was the responsible thing to do responsible zoos make responsible decisions.
Responsible decisions, conserve nature and save species.
Thank you.
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Marius the Giraffe | Mads Frost Bertelsen | TEDxFrederiksberg

8 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 20, 2020
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