Written by: James Walsh from Sinamatella Productions
There are less than 5,000 African wild dogs left in existence, and funding sources are scarce, conflicts of interest flare, models of benefaction are being tested and new technology needs to be deployed to protect them.
Wild dogs in South Africa are monitored by the Wild Dog Advisory Group (WAG) and the province of KwaZulu-Natal has become a hotpot for tourists hoping to see these incredible dogs on safari. WAG, along with WildlifeACT, are playing a crucial role in monitoring, studying and looking after these dogs.
Snares are utilised by communities in reserves to catch antelope as meat to feed families. However, snares are non-selective traps and often end up catching unintended prey, such as the wild dog. Snares are possibly the biggest threats to African wild dogs, along with habitat fragmentation and disease.
This documentary explores one such rural community in KwaZulu-Natal, where the lives of poachers and wild dogs intersect with tragic consequences:
This documentary has been a long time coming and the film spent two years in development, as we sought to win over the protagonists and took time to get to know and understand the local communities in rural Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal.
The film aims to investigate some key issues facing Africa today – mass species extinctions, disempowerment, inequality, starvation and human-wildlife relationships – through the lens of several characters in rural Zululand.
After all, it’s worth remembering that these rural communities have effectively become the custodians of our planet’s last remaining wildernesses.