TH: What shocked me the most [about what I saw]? Nothing really. Some people’s stupidity is unfathomable and there is nothing common about sense. Perhaps it was the sound of a dying rhino which makes a high pitched wail like a baby pleading for its life. And they can’t speak for themselves, can they, to defend their corner.
People are capable of the most heinous acts, be it from desperation or greed or fear. That’s not shocking. That’s almost to be expected. But it’s the fallout of their and our actions that is so shamefully woeful and painful to watch. What saddens me is that we are losing this fight.
The rhino and the elephant belong to everyone on the earth and to themselves. The loss of one rhino is a symptom of an altogether insidious human problem.
But within my lifetime and certainly my son’s, if we lose the rhino and the elephant, it will be because we sat back and did nothing about it when we could have. It’s not about spending money, we’ve got enough money from what I hear to do something other than sit around and talk about it, listening to academics waffling on at conferences with their facts and statistics; or do-goodie celebrities like myself being righteous, and getting up on soap boxes so that you, the public, might watch my next movie or think I’m a really good guy.
The truth is, our management efforts are appalling. Everybody thinks someone else is taking care of this situation and very few people are prepared to get their hands dirty, put up fences, enforce laws, clean out filthy and corrupt politicians from the US to Africa to Asia.
What saddens me the most is despite our best efforts these creatures will die out. And they don’t have to. […]
If the audience feels moved by this fact then I hope it motivates them into tackling the issue. Its not just about throwing money at a charity and hoping it goes away, there needs to be stronger infrastructures put in place, stiffer penalties for poachers, banning the trade of rhino horn and ivory worldwide. Governments, heads of states, countries need to start talking to one another about practical management issues making the elicit wildlife trade illegal worldwide. Educate the new generations in the end-user countries. Pressurise African and Asian governments to give these animals (rhinos and elephants) proper protection in the field, long jail terms, known traders locked up whoever they are and rangers fully authorized to defend themselves. Enforce the existing Wildlife laws which are already on the statutes and pretty good.
The message is key. The message is this.. We need to help demystify the properties of these animal products, such as rhino horn’s medicinal value to the consumer, we need to help negate demand. If we negate the demand for [rhino horn] then there is simply no need for its supply; ultimately insuring survival of the species.
Though this is no easy task.. we can all play a role, however small, should we care to. […]
Q: Was it important to you to present the findings to the audience, rather than give your own opinion on what needs to be done?
Yeah no one needs to hear me waffle on about what I think, I’m a pillock, I make movies, man, what do I know. Listen to the people in the documentary, listen to what they have to say, watch the program. It’s really a basic introduction to this topic, interesting, informative as regarding the tragic and dire situation for the rhino and the elephant.
I wish we had gone to the Congo, Kenya, Angola, Nigeria—the poaching epidemic is spreading like wildfire all over Africa.
These magnificent creatures are being cleansed and people are dying trying to protect them, as well as trying to poach them. We can stop it.
Poaching Wars with Tom Hardy —ITV1, 17th July at 9pm