Loss of a Species – A Giant, Extinct.
What happens when an animal species goes 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.
About Thomas Hildebrandt
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.
Before becoming one of the world’s leading experts on wildlife reproduction management, Thomas began his veterinary career by working on a dairy farm in Brandenburg. After a stint as a pathology assistant at the veterinary medicine department of Humboldt University in Berlin, he earned his doctor’s license while working as a scientific researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, and since 1997 has been the head of the department of reproduction management there. In addition, Thomas is professor of wildlife reproduction medicine at the Free University of Berlin, is an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, and earned many awards for his outstanding work.
In addition to many international collaborations to further improve animal reproduction management, Thomas and his department develop new reproductive technologies and imaging techniques to continue helping their animal patients. Currently, one of their biggest challenges is protecting the white rhino from extinction, as there are sadly only three of them left in the wild.