Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s kids interview Sir David Attenborough

Sir David and the Duke and Duchesses children

Sir David and the Duke and Duchesses children. Video screenshot.

I like, as do many millions of others, Sir David Attenborough. In this video from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter feed he very kindly and gently answers their children’s questions about animals and conservation. He answers in a simple way so that the kids can understand. This points to his empathetic approach to people. And he wants to educate, so who better to educate than these kids? It’s obviously a very good idea to make this short video. We know how important conservation is to the Duke of Cambridge. He’s done work on elephant conservation and I’m sure many other areas of conservation. Like his brother, Harry, he loves Africa but is no doubt distressed to see the population sizes of the iconic species on that vast and beautiful continent decreasing rapidly. He wants to do something about it and this sort of action is the kind of thing he can do. He is a great admirer of Sir David Attenborough and they appear to get on very well.

Sir David has a more optimistic viewpoint about the conservation of the species than me. He believes that with commitment you can protect the species and their numbers can grow. He speaks of the apes in the centre of Africa and how their numbers have grown from 250 to about a thousand. This is due to a desire to protect them. Personally, I don’t see that desire across the board. He is citing an exception to the general rule that species are becoming extinct or threatened with extinction. It is called the sixth mass extinction and we are currently going through it.

It’s interesting to note that the notorious former private zoo owner Joe Exotic who is now incarcerated in prison for 22 years thought that the tiger was doomed to extinction in the wild. He was a party to that extinction process because of his abuse of this magnificent animal. Perhaps he thought he was involved in conservation but he wasn’t. I tend to agree with him about the extinction of the tiger in the wild. The tiger will exist for the indefinite future in captivity but unless there is a dramatic change and real commitment from politicians and businesses we won’t see them in the wild in 50 years time. They are simply exploited and in the country where most of them live, India, the human population has grown by 16 million in three years. There are 1.4 billion people in India and the numbers are growing rapidly. It seems anachronistic nowadays have tigers living in a landscape in which so many people live side-by-side with them. There’s bound to be human-tiger conflict.

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