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Heartbreaking moment stork gives up its own chick to ensure survival of the others
Featured Image Credit: X/@Kombucu_

Heartbreaking moment stork gives up its own chick to ensure survival of the others

A white stork sacrificed her chick for the greater good

Nature really is a cruel place, but we don’t usually see it up close and personal.

But, if you do fancy watching animals engaging in stone cold brutal behaviour, there's a new video that has people outraged at a stork.

In the clip, the bird straight up grabs one of its young by the beak and chucks it out of the nest.

Naturally, not many people were on the stork's side, but there is an important reason why it behaved this way.

You can see the 'cruel' moment in the clip below:

Some X users were pretty shaken by the footage.

One wrote: "This is why I have no problem eating animals."

Another wrote: "Nature is very, very cruel. Humanity is very often the only part of nature that has the capability to not be cruel at times. This romanticized view of animal behavior is wacky."

A third quipped: "They should not be trusted the task of delivering babies."

Even though it’s pretty horrid to watch, there’s an important reason why the stork behaved this way

White Storks reduce their broods in times of stress.
X/ @TheFigen_

According to a paper by ecologist Piotr Zieliński, this is a tactic used by birds to preserve large numbers of offspring by sacrificing some in times of danger.

Zieliński explained that both ‘Black and White Storks were observed practising facultative parental infanticide’.

The way that White Storks go about feeding chicks means that there is generally an even distribution of food among the brood.

This means that there aren’t necessarily ‘weaker chicks’ in the nest, so if the brood was going through hard times, the mother stork might just have to pick a baby to sacrifice so all the others can eat normally.

While this is a habit practiced by the White Stork, the study found that it was still rare to see it happen.

The White Stork didn't hesitate to throw her chick out of the nest.
X/ @TheFigen_

Zieliński said: “Surprisingly, although parental infanticide is a quick and efficient method of brood reduction it is rarely observed, even in species practising it.”

With this additional context, some were inclined to be more forgiving of the stork.

One wrote: “Nature knows no morals it’s all about being pragmatic and increasing the chances for the strongest to survive to pass genes further.

“Why it comes so difficult for people to understand?

“This hatchling was probably the weakest and least promising.”

Another explained: “Nature can be cruel but there is a reason for this. They typically cast out a sick one to keep others from getting sick. Sad it is though.”

Regardless of the explanation, it’s certainly a heartbreaking video to watch.

Topics: Animals, Nature, News, Twitter, Social Media