What Would You Have Done In These Situations?
You are a Park Ranger or the head of a Game Reserve and you personally witness the following scenarios. Would you have intervened or allowed nature to take its course?:
A particular bird never builds nests. Never incubates her eggs....at least not personally! It somehow times its egg-laying to fit into the time another bird lays hers! It waits patiently for this bird of a totally different specie to vacate its nest to pursue its meal. It then quietly visits the nest of this hard-working bird to lay a single egg bearing striking semblance to the eggs of the nest owner...such that the latter may not spot the difference!
The nest owner inbubates all eggs....but the "guest egg" naturally hatches before the "host eggs"!
Being the senior in the nest, it delivers vicious kicks to the host-eggs until they tumble off the high nest to their peril! As soon as this chick is mature enough to demonstrate the perculiar features of it stock, her mother gingerly comes for it....again in the absence of the host! The intruder thus compels the host to rear its chick....and only its chick as it kills the host's chicks before they even hatch!
Second scenario: A lion has its mandible (lower jaw) severely fractured in a fight over territory with a rival. The injury is so bad that the fracture segment hangs loosely. Obviously, this lion cannot feed! Do you watch it as its body gradually shrivels away in starvation....allowing nature to take its course? Or do you intervene by calling in the vets to dart it and proceed with surgical treatment. Do you go as far as expertly tube-feeding it and relocating it to establish a fresh territory?
Please bear in mind that animals as huge as elephants are periodically culled i.e. killed to maintain sustainable numbers....to sustain the park's ecosystem....
Dr Tosin Akindele is a medical practitioner and public affairs analyst.