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Celebrating the 215th Birthday of Charles Darwin; Sierra Leone Losing Its Forests; Medals for Paris Olympics revealed. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 13, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, sunshine. It`s a terrific Tuesday. Let`s make it a teacher time Tuesday. So at some point today, go up to someone,

guiding you, give them a dap, a handshake or rug, and tell them, thank you. I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10, where I tell you the what, letting you decide

what to think.

We`re going to start our show with celebrating the 215th birthday of the man who changed the way we understand the diversity of life on earth,

Charles Darwin. Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution. The idea that all of life adapts to its environment over generations. He first came

to this theory on the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, where he found animals seen nowhere else. But Darwin had other theories as well. And

not just on the Galapagos. A group of researchers are sailing around the world, retracing a famous journey that the renowned scientists made in the

19th Century.


STEWART MCPHERSON, PROJECT LEADER, DARWIN200: Charles Darwin changed the world with his ideas, not just evolution, thousands of other theories and

ideas. It still reverberates to this day, the impact of his observations and discoveries in a small way, we try and take inspiration from that, that

all of us, every single one of us can help change the world. If we use our brains and use our minds and decide to make a positive action for the


We`ve embarked on this incredible two-year journey around the world, following it in Charles Darwin`s footsteps. So all of the major ports that

you visitors, there`s 32 of them along the itinerary. We`re working with incredible conservation partners in those different ports to place these

extraordinary Darwin leaders, these young conservationists to study the amazing work being done. So it`s a bit like an exchange. Darwin leaders

come for example, from different countries around the world to Brazil, to learn from incredible Brazilian conservationists. Then likewise

inspirational young Brazilians go to other countries to learn there and then bring new knowledge back.

They have to really use their brains and think use every bit of initiative that they can and work out new solutions, new strategies, new ideas, what

more could be done to make a better brighter future for their animal plant.

Charles Darwin was actually one of the last naturalists to dock these beautiful howler monkeys here in Rio Janeiro. They became locally extinct

relatively soon after his visit. Refauna has already put groups back into the world.

SARAH DARWIN, BOTANIST & DESCENDANT OF CHARLES DARWIN: Charles Darwin, well, he definitely, we know that he observes the howler monkeys in Rio and

when they do these restoration projects where they reintroduce species, the scientists actually have to prove that the species did exist in that place.

So with Darwin`s account of the howler monkeys, that actually provided the evidence for the scientists to say, right, we`ve got a justifiable reason

to reintroduce this species into this part of forest, because it was originally part of the forest. And here`s our evidence.

We`ve got all these young people who are imagining a positive future for our planets. And I feel energized and enthusiastic while I`m with them

because they`ve got just a really good attitude.

JOSEPH ROY, DARWIN LEADER, DARWIN200: I`m generally curious about everything. That`s a good and bad thing. But I try to speak with everyone,

about what they`re doing. So from the process of how they chose this population to how they bred them and how they are acclimatizing them in

here, and then how they`re going to release them. And how they`re going to monitor them after the release.

MCPHERSON: If you empower extraordinary drivers of change, these leaders, they`ll have a ripple effect for the next 50 years or more over the course

of their careers. Because, remember they`re late teenagers or early 20s. So they`ll be working for the next half century.

Many of these projects are not rocket science. Like they`re relatively simple. If we care enough and act now, we can make that change many other

times with different animals and plants. The natural world has a really bright and positive future.


WIRE: All right, from South America to Africa, Sierra Leone, to be exact where forests are vanishing rapidly. And one sanctuary is working hard to

protect the trees and orphan chimpanzees. Our David McKenzie takes us to Chimp School in the forest outside of Freetown.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s playtime in the forest, but these orphaned primates aren`t monkeying


This is Skippy nibbling on my arm. You know what`s happening here is they are in chimp school. Basically learning how to be chimps.

(Voice-over): Skippy is much braver than the two boys. They try their best. But like their human cousins, they sometimes just need a cuddle. Their

carer wears a mask so the chimps don`t catch a human cold.

BALA AMARASEKARAN, FOUNDER, TACUGAMA CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY: Once you get in here, you have several groups.

MCKENZIE: We`re in Sierra Leone with Bala Amarasekaran, the founder of Tacugama Chimp Sanctuary. He rescued his first chimp more than 30 years


AMARASEKARAN: I think he started to showing us the way in terms of it`s not about just the chimp, it`s about the species. So I started looking, rescue

another chimp, another chimp.

Mac, you`re good boy. Mac, what`s up?

MCKENZIE: Now Tacugama has more than 100 rescued chimps and they manage wild chimp habitats across the country. With just 5,500 Western chimpanzees

left in Sierra Leone, each one is precious.

If you run the edge of Freetown, humans are the biggest threat to chimps. But perhaps not how you may think.

In the last few years, have you lost a lot of forest?

AMARASEKARAN: A lot it. If you came here like two years ago not a single building or any of these makeshift shelters you`re seeing. Nothing was


Yes. Very sad. That is all going right before our eyes. I`ve been fighting this thing for 30 years, not 30 days.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And time is running out. Rampant, often illegal development is destroying the forests. Sierra Leone has lost 55% of its

tree cover since 2000. That`s about 7,500 square miles, or the size of New Jersey. That`s bad for chimps and it`s terrible for us. Africa`s forests

are critical to fighting climate change.

AMARASEKARAN: There is no more about preserving forest or wild life. It`s about preserving humans. We are trying to leave a better place for our


MCKENZIE: At Tacugama, they`re doing everything they can to document and protect the extraordinary diversity of these forests. And the wild chimps

that roam here. They believe if they can save their home, it might just help save ours.


WIRE: Pop quiz, hot shot. How tall is the Eiffel Tower?

650 feet, 789, 984, or 1083 feet.

All right, trick question, the tower stands 984 feet tall, but a TV antenna added in 1957, pushes it to 1083 feet. But you know what, I`m feeling

generous today. So if you said either number, put your hands up.

While the Eiffel Tower`s height might have changed over the years, its significance around the world has always been clear. And now with a 2024

Olympics in Paris this year, athletes who medal will get an extra special reward with their gold, silver or bronze. Our Jeremy Roth explains.


JEREMY ROTH, CNN DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCER: Ahead of the upcoming summer Olympics in Paris. The famous French city has put their stamp on the games

literally by weaving its most iconic landmark right into the competition`s medals. Each medal features a real piece of the Eiffel Tower`s original

iron structure.

Following renovation work during the 20th Century, certain metallic elements were removed from the famous French landmark and have been

carefully preserved ever since. They have now been repurposed to create the medal`s hexagonal centerpiece, a reference to the country`s geometric

shape. The fusing of the medals with the metals will allow the heart of Paris to reside near the hearts of the summer games fiercest competitors.


WIRE: I want to give a shout out today. How about those Tigers in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Alamogordo High School, rise up. And this shoutout

goes to Highland Middle School in Medina, Ohio, go on float like a butterfly, sting like a hornet.

I`m going to be missing you tomorrow. I`ll finally be traveling back to home base, but you can still make this show in #YourWordWednesday. Follow

me @coywire on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, put your unique vocabulary word in the comment section on my most recent post with your school and your

teacher`s name as well. And we`ll choose a fun winner to work into tomorrow`s show.

See you soon lovely people. I`m Coy Wire and we are CNN 10.