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Not many people would sell their homes and move back in with their parents to self-finance a wildlife documentary while refusing funding offers from people who want the message to be watered down and made more palatable for certain interest groups. This is the story of STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War

The STROOP team filming a rhino carcass in Kruger National Park. From left to right: Susan Scott, Bonné de Bod and Thapelo Danster ©Jeffrey Barbee

This is precisely what Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott have done, and STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War – now in edit, with the final release due later this year – promises to be a rollercoaster ride for viewers. It will include footage from the killing fields of Kruger National Park, where they were given privileged access to sensitive scenes, to the courtrooms in bush frontier towns and dingy backrooms of Vietnamese wildlife traffickers, where the intrepid pair endured life-threatening encounters with some of this planet’s most evil individuals. Imagine walking into a room full of suspicious thugs and convincing them you are a film star looking for ivory and rhino horn jewellery – with a hidden camera strapped to your chest!

Susan Scott attaches a hidden camera to Bonné de Bod for dangerous undercover work amongst wildlife traffickers
Bonné de Bod talks to an antique dealer in Laos where photographs of rhino horn are displayed in a cabinet. In Southeast Asia, this practice usually indicates that rhino horn can be purchased from the establishment ©Susan Scott

Along the way, Bonné and Susan also met many passionate people who are making a real difference on the coalface and a dignified lady with cancer who views rhino horn as her salvation. All this and more packed into what will no doubt be a watershed documentary for awareness about the rhino situation.

Bonné de Bod interviews a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor in Vietnam
Bonné de Bod interviews a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor in Vietnam ©Susan Scott
A Vietnamese cancer patient grounds rhino horn into powder
A Vietnamese cancer patient grounds rhino horn into powder ©Susan Scott
Susan Scott films from a helicopter with SANParks rangers

‘STROOP’ is Afrikaans for ‘poach’ or ‘strip bare’; this video has Afrikaans audio with English subtitles. They also plan to have multiple language subtitles, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Zulu and Shangaan.

My one-hour meeting with these two brave filmmakers turned into four as they enthralled me with their stories and footage and infused me with their focused passion. I left humbled and overflowing with a sense of hope, of respect. And I wanted to get involved, to help them achieve their mission of educating the world about the true rhino story, free from any commercial influence.

Private rhino owner Yana Mockford with Bonné de Bod during feeding time for her rhinos on her farm ©Susan Scott

And so I paid $25 on their crowd-sourcing web page to receive a digital download of STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War when it comes out – which I am so looking forward to – and I promised myself to convince you somehow to do the same. Yes, you.

By paying for a digital download of STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War, or donating a lesser amount, you help ensure that it is completed without editorial censorship by traditional broadcasters. Make no mistake, this will be a controversial documentary, and some interest groups may feel aggrieved when the truth is laid bare.

Rhino horns, ivory and weapons seized during overnight poaching operations in Kruger National Park

PLEASE HELP Bonné and Susan to complete this incredible journey.

Visit the STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War website to read more, view a few video clips (not the juicy stuff) and pay for your digital download.

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I am a proud African and honoured to be CEO of Africa Geographic. My travels in Africa are in search of wilderness, elusive birds and real people with interesting stories. I live in Hoedspruit, next to the Kruger National Park, with my wife Lizz and 2 Jack Russells. When not travelling or working I am usually on my mountain bike somewhere out there. I qualified as a chartered accountant but found my calling sharing Africa's incredibleness with you. My motto is "Live for now, have fun, be good, tread lightly and respect others. And embrace change". Connect with me on LinkedIn

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