That’s a crazy thought when you’re a wildlife lover… How can it ever be okay not to save a wild animal!
Well, over the past years we’ve unfortunately learned that there are times when it’s best not to save a wild animal.
Let me start at the beginning…
There this lofty giraffe stood with his horn (ossicone) torn away from his head. I grabbed the binoculars. I could see flies swarming around what must have been a massive wound. However, there he stood looking at us munching away. We watched each other for a while then he returned to eating. He pulled at the leaves as if nothing was wrong, but it was. Shortly after that we caught up with a ranger. Leonard was surprised to here he was still alive. Supposedly two male giraffes had been fighting about two weeks back. This one was injured. [Original story “When Nature’s Way is the Best Wildlife Conservation” back in 2014]
“You didn’t do something to help him?
I learned an important lesson that day from Leonard. Sometimes it’s best not to save a wild animal. When it comes to keeping a species strong the fittest really must survive. It’s during these fights between the males that this happens over and over again in nature. Among giraffe, lions, down to monkeys and most other animals.
Leonard told us that if this giraffe survived (which at this point seemed almost likely) it meant that he had strong healthy genes and that his offspring would be the better for it.
The Elephant Calf
A few years back we captured a fascinating scene unfold a waterhole in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. A newborn elephant and his mum appeared to be rejected by the herd. At one point the tiny one falls into the water. Unlike in most cases at first all the elephants leave.
“Why didn’t you save him?”
This viral YouTube video on our Channel still brings concerned comments from viewers.
“That little one is going to die! Why didn’t you do something?” Elizabeth cried recently.
Again, we reached out to experts like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Time and time again we were told… ‘let nature takes its course.’ If the little one was rejected then maybe something was wrong with it. Again, rangers would only intervene if the little elephant couldn’t escape from the waterhole or if humans had caused injury or harm.
For wildlife lovers watching an animal, especially a tiny one, seemingly in trouble is painful. Sadly, nature sometimes is painful. However, it is her way of preserving a strong healthy species. Her way of assuring the genes that pass from one generation to another are strong, not weak.
Does this mean we never jump in and save a wild animal?
Of course not, I jump out of the Landy and move a tortoise to the side of a busy road, despite what some might say. My heart reaches out to the likes of the injured giraffe and struggling baby animals all the time.
However, because we humans have made a mess of things in nature, it’s important to pay attention to those who know better and follow their lead don’t you think? At least most of the time.
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