How the ban on lion hunting killed the lions: Mikkel Legarth at TEDxCopenhagen

How the ban on lion hunting killed the lions: Mikkel Legarth at TEDxCopenhagen

When it comes to animals, people’s behavior is usually driven by their emotions instead of facts and knowledge — it’s a behavior that can result in the exact opposite of what was intended. There is no picture perfect or black and white — conservation is usually a choice between two evils. A choice that can either save some of the world’s most iconic animals — or lead to their extinction. After working with the big cats in Southern Africa, Mikkel Legarth from Denmark co-founded Modisa Wildlife Project – a project that wants to define new standards on how we feel, think and act with regards to conservation.
Watching documentaries and studying books about the wildlife of Africa has been a passion of Mikkel’s since forever. A trip to Africa in 2008 completely changed his life. After volunteering to care for the area’s big cats, Mikkel extended his stay to 10 months, working in a management position where he oversaw up to 60 volunteers from across the world. Recently he co-founded the Modisa Wildlife Project to help create a better future for the wildlife of Botswana.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


  1. Ultimate Christmas on March 17, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Can’t wait for my lion hunt!

  2. Umbreon_Soldat97 on March 17, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    It wasn’t because of the ban, lion hunters just want to keep this horrible sport legal.

  3. gar md on March 17, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Kenya elephant’s population 160k then 1975 , Hunting became elegal

    NOW….. 2010, 20k elephants remain…………………………………..

    Zimbabwe 1975 20k elephant’s population……. hunting has always been legal

    today 2010 stats 100k is the elephant population


  4. Nate Windwood on March 17, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Lol, so many trigg迮red ecocentrists in the comments :DD

  5. Belinda Smith on March 17, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Let’s all go hunting in the Nederland. How’s the wildlife over there. Hunted to extinction.不不不不不

  6. ResortDog on March 17, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Theres no way to change everybodies mind, so there ya go! The human dilemma: we are chained to our future the human race is making, not vibrations in air.

  7. TELEVISIBLE on March 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    murder should be legal to save humanity

  8. jaimit vala on March 17, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Why cant farmers make fence higher???

  9. Restless Gypsy on March 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Trophy hunting is wrong and not beneficial no matter which way you look at it though the poachers,outfitters and hunters may try to brainwash you otherwise..its like a sadistic serial killer killing for "God will" to make it seem legit but really it for their own sick pleasure. If they want to HELP so much why do they need to kill something? Why can’t they just go look or just donate like others do? Why because they are sick in the head

  10. Cookie loo on March 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    obviously if no one killed animals the population would thrive but the problem is that we humans are making the national parks that the animals live in smaller and smaller by our expanding population fuck theres nearly 7.5 billion of us

  11. francisco garrido on March 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Dont ban animal hunt, legalize hunter hunting and comercialize it ill pay greens to hunt millionare hunters all those bank accounts frozen in an instant makes my heart beat so fast…India has a law.

  12. FULANODETAL on March 17, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    and what about africans of dont got soo many children?

  13. Artur S. on March 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Thank you for rising and telling the truth!

  14. Upland Knight on March 17, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Just buy Canadian beef……or American beef. or raise chickens instead lol

  15. Ferdinand Alexander on March 17, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    The fundamental issue is that humans through the use of human thinking have convinced themselves that the human species is more valuable than all the other species on the planet. The issue is not one group vs another. The issue is all of humanity and the divisive nature of human thinking. It shows up in all aspects of human experience.

  16. michael gauci on March 17, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    tell us the real reason or shall I BLOOD MONEY RUNNING NATION FACT

  17. Merrie R on March 17, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I’m going to address a couple of issues that always come up in these threads. To quote one study that found "only" 3% of the trophy fee goes directly to conservation is a bit misleading. And to say that ecotourism brings in enough to conserve all the wildlife in Africa is similarly misleading. Much of the land that is dedicated to managed trophy hunting would no longer be what amounts to private nature reserves if trophy hunting were banned. If land owners are able to bring in huge sums of money so that a few rich hunters can come in once and a while to kill an animal, you better believe that there is motivation to keep that land wild. And having enough land to support animals that are hunted for trophies necessarily entails having enough land for all the other smaller species too – from insects to mesocarnivores, native flora as well. Note that canned hunting is a completely separate issue and is not what I refer to here. So getting caught up on what percentage of the trophy fee goes "directly" to conservation is a bit misguided. How many private land tracts would be turned into monoculture farms or cattle ranches if all commercial hunting were banned? Furthermore, not all countries in Africa are politically stable or "tourist-friendly." Unless an area has an endemic species that can be seen nowhere else, which is NOT the case with lions, Americans are going to want to go to the safer, touristy areas. Those less-stable countries still attract trophy hunters, and still bring in money for both indirect and direct forms of conservation.

  18. Serengeti Lion on March 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    The fact of the matter is I still believe lions should not ever be hunted no matter what. The scientific studies concludes that farmers can successfully protect their livestock with a boma! Yes a lion safe enclosure that protects cattle from lion attacks. No matter what people think they know, to protect a species from becoming extinct no human killing of any kind has to happen. There is a solution for everything, while some proving difficult con still be achieved. It roughly costs $45 US dollars to build 1 boma. And it works, the farmers are happy and the lions live. This is a fact, go verify this info for yourself

  19. Belinda Smith on March 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Narcissistic little Dutch guy is preaching.. and still most of us will disagree. I wish all hunters were extinct.

  20. mamakind99 on March 17, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    "I do not believe that anyone who was out there getting petitions signed knew what the consequences would be" That is because you can’t listen while shouting at someone else. A lot of smart people have been saying just that for a very long time.
    I am a hunter. I shoot for four reasons: To eat what I shoot, and know where my food comes from, to protect my economical interests in way of forest and fields, to manage the population so as to prevent disease typical from overpopulation and because part of my land is a nature reserve for endangered ground breeding birds, so that I am required by law to shoot all (house) cats and foxes in that part.
    I would never pay to go to Africa to shoot something, but I know people who would. I don’t understand this, but I am pragmatic enough to know that putting a high value on killing an animal protects it, because they won’t be seen as a worthless nuisance.
    The problem with ideology is that it is usually in the way of pragmatic solutions, as was very well explained here.

  21. Balendula on March 17, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    To hunt under the guise of "conservation" is cognitive dissonance on an astronomical level. What this only goes to show is that this is 100% human problem. Nature can balance itself out, but it needs protection, not intervention from people.

  22. Jacob Harvey on March 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    So stop meat and dairy production too, there’s your problem solved…

  23. Bryant Susilo on March 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    So the lesson here is to understand something before doing it

  24. francisco garrido on March 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    this is not a Ted Talk, this is a normalization of animal rights violation. Gov shouls approve the hunt of hunters, its better. And if you are a farmer and you have an issue, talk to the authorities and sedate, trap de animal, or just try to find the way to feed it. Meat is a multibillionare bussiness!

  25. The Prodigal on March 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    This is the most ludicrous and lazy position to justify the slaughter of a species!

  26. Tony Allan on March 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    This is the truth about conservation and The Modisa Project is a perfect example of the future of the conservation of rogue predators that are needed in the Eco-system, yet are seen as a problem to human life in the area.

  27. MrR1D3R on March 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    If you love lions so much donate to save them. Spend the money that hunters would have. But then lions will still die, by other lions, and it’s a horrible death.

  28. Rosalind Martin on March 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    In WAR, we hunt humans.

  29. Roma tab. on March 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Is this a problem with lion hunting, or is it a problem with mass animal agriculture?

  30. Upland Knight on March 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Sustainable solution……Sterilize half the population of humans

  31. David Hill on March 17, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Hunting gave the Lions a dollar value to the farmers hence it compensated them for any loss of cattle which were killed by the lions , after the ban on hunting they where not compensated for the loss of cattle by the lions hence they killed the lions to protect their only source of income which is the cattle. .

  32. Upland Knight on March 17, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Just dont call it a hunt. Hunting is the pursuit of game to eat. Shooting lions to raise awarness and funds to protect them is, well sad, but i guess necessary. I still want to know what the "thrill" of shooting a lion is???? kinda easy. pointand pull trigger. A white tail buck is 1000x harder to harvest than a lion. Guess egos need to be fed???

  33. Artur S. on March 17, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Great video, senseful context! Thank You so much for what you say and do! Keep it up!!!

  34. JR Black on March 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Poor creatures just can’t win.

  35. Joseph M on March 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    People with good intentions have exacerbated the situation between Lions and cattle farmers. The farmers are now aggravated and embittered, their feelings are irritated by the loss of cattle, their livelihood without compensation. All by the people w/ good intentions,
    however, uneducated to the real problems $$ Money that once payed these farmers for their cattle loses. It disgusts me to see these remarkable animals killed for sport, however,
    it disgusts me much more to see them killed because they ate a cow. Stop the hunting ban and we save the Lions.

  36. Vihan Subramaniam on March 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Conservation is used so the hunters could kill more in the future.

  37. Sandra Silvestri on March 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm


  38. The Prodigal on March 17, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I have a solution! Let the farmers do what they need to do to continue! Also, tag and monitor all the lions! Then move the lion surplus to areas that they have been eliminated from! After all, they have been eliminated from most of Africa! Also the many breeding and canned hunting programs going on in Africa and the world for hunters should be eliminated as well! Why will this not work? Because the Human factor is cheap, irresponsible, and LAZY! That is the only reason!

  39. awenindoe on March 17, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Well, If they’re gonna die, somebody might as well get paid. And all is good in the world.

  40. Restless Gypsy on March 17, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    What about these lion farms also? How is that helping these lions? All that is doing is creating a bigger demand for lion bones which in turn is causing more poaching ect and a terrible existence for these lions, give you head a shake people…see what us really happening!

  41. Mr HiGuy on March 17, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    so you’re saving the very few adult male lions who don’t hunt farmers cattle by killing them? farmers aren’t the ones killing male lions at a rate of 1/5th the male population yearly. these farmers have lived for generations back when there was more lions. fact is the Lions numbers drastically fell when people started murdering them for self gratification. if people didn’t hunt or support buying anything made from poaching then only a few lions who press boundaries will get killed not ones deep in their land…also can’t really call it hunting or being a sportsman it literally takes no skill besides point n click for pay.

  42. Marcara081 on March 17, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Hi, this is TED, where everyone presents their talk in nearly the same fashion until it gets to the point where you wonder if they all went to the same school or if TED is teaching them in the first place. It’s weird.

  43. Ryan Verdi on March 17, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Good news on the Botswana conservation efforts and challenges but Legarth is heavily skewed and clearly uneducated himself on predator conservation.

    "I will never understand why someone will come to Africa, kill a lion, and bring it back home to put it up on a wall as a trophy" -Legarth

    "This is a choice between two evils" – Legarth

    "I am definately not a friend of the hunting business" – Legarth

    This good hearted presenter makes the assumption that all hunters that pay big bucks to travel and hunt are "trophy hunters" . You can hear it and see it, he knows deep down in his gut that proper conservation includes hunting but cant admit it. Because he hasnt quite experienced a rewarding hunt or read enough on predator ecology and the success stories like many states in the US having recovered to healthy populations of MOUNTAIN LION partly due to issuing the right number of lion tags and putting hunting funds to work (yes we have lions in North America). The charismatic megafauna have instead won his heart and he cant look beyond to a great idea of lions as a species and not an individual.

    I dont know, just some observations from someone who has hunted and who has another level of appreciation for the animals Ive eaten and the animals who live along side those animals.

    keep going

  44. Jason Luhning on March 17, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    He stated the real problem and then totally ignored it.
    The farmers are raising cattle to be shipped to other countries.
    Hello stop raising cattle for food and the lions will not eat them causing the farmer to shoot the lion.
    Last I checked lions don’t eat beans or hemp or any plant. Go vegan and these fake kill a lion to save them bull will be fixed.

  45. Belinda Smith on March 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Go away little Dutch guy.

  46. Belinda Smith on March 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Too many narcissistic people who cannot and will not ever ever admit that they could be completely wrong.

  47. Col Suddick on March 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    A very well presented view and as a hunting person I agree 100% that emotion and a lack of knowledge have been allowed to rule over common sense in many areas,we in the UK have a very similar situation with brown hares,hunting with hounds was banned but they can still be shot and it won’t be long before the onmce abundant hare will be red listed or wiped out as now instead of they being a sporting animal they’re classed as a pest so it’s yet another example of emotions over ruling common sense but will the haters be bothered,ofcourse they won’t,they’ll just pass the blame for their own stupidity onto others.It’s what they do.

  48. EvaMarie Fox on March 17, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    My family and I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Joseph recently and he is an incredibly passionate guide but more importantly, he’s a remarkable person – full of life, laughs and wonderful stories! God bless Joseph and best wishes from Tom, Eva and the kids.

  49. Ollie vw on March 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Hear hear

  50. Mark D on March 17, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    How could you kill such a majestic creature, for the sake of tourism. Shame, Shame, Shame.

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