first_imgA new short film, titled Sides of a Horn, looks at the impacts of the illegal trade of rhino horn on a community in South Africa.The 17-minute film follows two brothers-in-law, one who is a wildlife ranger and another who contemplates poaching as a way to pay for his ailing wife’s medical care.A trip to South Africa in 2016 inspired British filmmaker Toby Wosskow to write and direct the short feature, which was publicly released June 25. Communities around the world often pay a hidden toll in the global wildlife trade. Across its 17 minutes, Sides of a Horn, a new film released June 25, aims to capture that part of the illegal trade.The story takes place in South Africa. No country, we are reminded, has a larger rhino population — or a greater gap between the wealthy and poor. When a rhino approaches the national park boundary near an impoverished township, the stark choice it presents threatens to tear a family apart.Dumi, played by South African actor Welile Nzuza, is a wildlife ranger in the park, and he’s waiting for his salary to pay for medical treatment that his ailing sister, Lindiwe, played by Dimpho Motloung, desperately needs. But her husband, Sello, played by Sherldon Marema, is sure that a week will be too long, and he wants to go after the rhino. Its horn could fetch $3,000, setting up a confrontation between the two men.“I know the lives of my people are more valuable than the lives of wild animals,” Sello tells Dumi in Zulu, the language spoken throughout much of the film.But Dumi reminds Sello that the loss of another rhino means more resources flowing out of their country. On the international market, the filmmakers point out, the horn might be worth $300,000.Sello must decide whether to pursue the rhino that has approached the national park boundary near the township where he lives with his family. Image © Whirlow Park Pictures.“They are stealing from our land to make the criminals a world away richer,” Dumi says.A 2016 trip to South Africa inspired British filmmaker Toby Wosskow to understand the decisions local community members must make, often between crippling poverty and hunting valuable endangered species like South Africa’s rhinos, with life-or-death consequences.“A nonsensical demand for rhino horn in parts of Asia is fueling a poaching war across Africa,” Wosskow said in a statement. “International crime syndicates are preying on desperate people living near protected areas, and offering them a fraction of the overseas profits to poach from their own wildlife. Meanwhile, proud anti-poaching rangers are putting their lives on the line to protect the animals.”The protagonist in the film, Dumi, is a wildlife ranger in the national park. Image © Whirlow Park Pictures.In 2018, poachers killed 769 rhinos in South Africa, according to Stop Rhino Poaching, a nonprofit group. Those statistics don’t measure the damage to communities, however. Wosskow and the film’s backers, including Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, see addressing the issues that these communities face as critical to staving off the extinction of Africa’s rhinos in the next decade.“The most common mentality in fighting this crisis is ‘buy more guns, kill more poachers,’” Wosskow said. “By humanizing the men and women on the ground, and showing the complexities of their situation, I hope our film makes people consider more sustainable solutions.”The short film, written and directed by Toby Wosskow, from executive producer Richard Branson, was an international co-production between U.S. companies Broad River Productions, Whirlow Park Pictures and Frame 48, alongside South Africa’s The Televisionaries and YKMD Productions. Image and caption © Whirlow Park Pictures.Banner image from the film of a rhino in South Africa © Whirlow Park Pictures. John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Black Rhino, China wildlife trade, China’s Demand For Resources, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Film, Insects, Mammals, Natural Capital, Parks, Poaching, Protected Areas, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Traditional Chinese Medicine, White Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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