Loss of a Species – A Giant, Extinct | Thomas Hildebrandt
What happens when an animal species gets extinct? Is it due to the natural path of evolution or the thoughtless actions of humankind? Less than a century ago, hundreds of thousands of northern white rhinos roamed the landscape of Central Africa. Today, there are only three individuals left. Prof. Hildebrandt has made it his mission to save the most endangered mammal species on Earth. Together with his team, he travels around the world to perform incredible work in the area of conservation science, which sometimes requires extreme and dangerous procedures when dealing with animals like rhinos and elephants. Thomas Hildebrandt sometimes has difficulties describing his job to other people. The closest example would be a gynecologist at a fertility clinic, except that the patients in his case are rhinos, elephants and other wild animals. Since 1997, he has been head of the department for reproduction management at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin and professor for wildlife reproduction medicine at the Free University of Berlin. Currently, one of the biggest challenges Thomas and his institute are tackling is protecting the white rhino from extinction.