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There are plenty of viral videos out there about fuzzy ducks and cute cats, but this is not one of them. PBS has a new show called EARTH A New Wild hitting the schedule in 2015 and to bring attention to the new series, the network released this brand new clip from the show, which follows the practice of humans castrating reindeer with their teeth. Seriously, watch at your own risk. This NSFW video might ruin your evening.
This video is actually pretty traumatizing and hard to watch for those who are unacquainted with reindeer castration and don’t really know what to expect. We tried to give you as much heads up as possible in the introductory paragraph, but it’s hard to explain capturing and tying down a male reindeer and going to town on his balls with your teeth without going into explicit detail. The good news is, the ball-biting is actually better for the reindeer than you might guess and the procedure that was undertaken in the video was done by a veterinarian.
According to the EARTH A New Wild team, reindeer in the tundra are castrated for a few reasons, one of which is because the castrated male reindeer grow bigger than others in the herd and are then able to dig through snow to get to plants in the harsh winters in the tundra, allowing the herd to survive. More specifically, they mention that this practice of biting off a reindeer’s balls is actually much less severe than modern methods that have been created, leading many to return to the ball-biting practice in recent years.
Still, it’s a pretty intense procedure that apparently hurts less than it looks, as the poor little reindeer who was castrated ran right back to the herd with seemingly few problems right after his balls were bitten off.
I’m not sure what else we can expect from EARTH A New Wild, but from the looks of things, it’ll be a lot better than that dude who tried to get eaten by a large snake (spoiler alert: he failed). The 5-part documentary series will hit PBS at midseason on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. It was produced by National Geographic Television in association with Passion Pictures and will be hosted by Doctor M. Sanjayan. The five episodes were shot in 29 different countries and each episode will follow a different habitat--Home, Plains, Forests, Ocean and Water. If you didn’t like the reindeer video, we highly suggest you avoid the one about the plains. I’ll certainly never look at Frozen’s Sven in the same way.