There is another side of poaching that is rarely explored. What are the socio-economic issues that drive people to poach? A South African filmmaker has won an award for a documentary focussing on just that.
South African filmmaker Reina-Marie Loader, recently won the award for Best Conservation Film at an international film festival in New York City. Loader owns the Cinéma Humain production company in Vienna, Austria.
Her documentary, Horn, has received many accolades, including a nomination for the Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 in July in the category Best Awareness, Education and Funding.
The film focusses on a side of rhino poaching that is rarely discussed: what drives people to poach?
Loader said that a connection with three rhinos in the Kruger National Park in 2011 inspired the film.
“One morning I saw three rhinos emerging from the bush. They stopped and intensely gazed back at me for what seemed like ages. I’ve seen many rhinos before, but there was something about that morning and the way they were staring at me – it was different. Their magnificent frames were awe-inspiring,” she recalled.
“At that point, I had only read a few reports of poaching in South Africa although there were in fact already many rhino killings. Conservationists outside of South Africa also warned us repeatedly that poaching was moving in our direction,” she said.
“Largely though, there was not as much news about this silent threat creeping into our country.”
At the time, poaching was not such a hot topic yet. Much has changed since then and efforts are being made to stop poachers, but very few focus on the social issues behind people who fall into the trap of poaching.