Our new Wildlife Raw & Uncut video series features some of the most disturbing content we've ever filmed. And the question that keeps popping up is whether our camera crews should intervene to help animals in some of these situations. That's a pretty complicated issue – one that we discuss a lot here. But to get you debating even more, we've put together this list of amazing intervention and rescue scenarios from across the world...
1. Turtle VS Pufferfish
This loggerhead sea turtle was found on the brink of suffocation after a badly chosen meal: a pufferfish. The fish (the name should be hint) can inflate its body to about twice the normal size when threatened … and the turtle clearly bit off more than he could chew when the puffed-up snack lodged in his airway. Thanks to a quick-thinking rescue crew, it survived the ordeal. Does the loggerhead's endangered status make it more necessary for humans to intervene? (Image source: Turtle Hospital)
2. Elephants VS Mud
This is part of a series of photos depicting a remarkable elephant rescue in Zambia late last year. Ropes and a tractor were needed to haul this elephant mom (and her young calf) from a muddy hole. Elephants in the area often fall victim to poachers so conservationists from the South Luangwa Conservation Society believe they need to do everything possible to help maintain populations (mud rescues included). (Image Source: South Luangwa Conservation Society)
3. Deer VS Icy Lake
Now it’s time to up the ante. If you think rescuing elephants from a muddy death is dramatic, try this helicopter deer rescue! This female doe was stranded on some thin ice – and a conventional rescue attempt would have been too dangerous. But with a little ingenuity and a handy newscopter, the animal was literally ‘blown’ to safety….
4. Rhinos VS Poachers
Speaking of helicopers ... They also happen to come in handy when you've got a bunch of critically endangered black rhinos to relocate. The huge animals were airlifted to safety by the ankles (after being sedated, of course) as part of a WWF project that aims to save the animals from southern Africa's poaching pandemic.
5. Dolphins VS Dehydration
But rescues need not be carefully planned and choreographed. When dozens of dolphins beached themselves in Brazil earlier this year, empathetic beachgoers quickly mounted a spontaneous rescue mission to save the animals from dying of extreme sunburn, overheating and dehydration (a decision some experts have criticised).
6. Rare Fern VS Extinction
And finally ... It's not always animals that require our assistance. This rather unremarkable fern (officially declared extinct in 2003) was rediscovered and brought back from the edge during a daring rescue that involved steep rock faces and some intensive cliffside pampering to get the tiny plants to produce viable spores.