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I am a veterinarian and my patients are birds. I have, in the past, worked as a wildlife veterinarian as well. I have been an advocate for environmental, welfare and conservation efforts around the world.

I have to ask for your help. 

Unfortunately I watched, by accident, a ridiculous and ignorant television program on the Discovery Channel in the USA. It is called "Naked and Afraid". Basically, 2 spoilt, young, middle class white people strip to nude and survive for 21 days "in the wild". The whole direction is that these two white folks try to kill wildlife, so they do not "starve" in those three weeks, but this one was particularly horrible. This episode is based in Namibia. These two destroyed a Hamerkops nest and brutally killed the young ones and ate them. This was entirely for vicarious entertainment.

Scenes depicting the capture and killing of animals promote unnecessary animal cruelty, for the sole purpose of vicarious entertainment, TV ratings, and advertising funds. It is reprehensible and tragic. “real” survivalists would face greater challenges, better body condition and nutritional levels if they were mandated that no killing take place. But of course, that would take away the voyeurism of brutality, blood and death that attracts the target audience.

The participants in this program routinely engage in activity that would warrant arrest and animal cruelty charges if it were witnessed in any country. Killing things with sticks and rocks will land you in jail, at least in the USA; and the fact that these killings are solely for entertainment casts serious doubts on the legality of the program. If these were private films posted on YouTube or Facebook, the authorities would be called in immediately.

In the episode in question on “Naked and Afraid”, the participants were fully aware that this was a nest with young birds and that they would be beaten, killed and eaten. I suspect the “cast” were guided to the nest for the sole purpose of destroying it and killing the young birds.

This is repugnant and disturbing. Let's try to convince Discovery Channel that this is neither entertaining nor educational.

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