US audiences ignore rhino plight

2013-07-25 22:19
Rhino Phila (Supplied)

Rhino Phila (Supplied)

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Durban - Selling the plight of the country's rhino to mainstream American audiences is proving difficult, a panel discussing the issue heard in Durban on Thursday.

Film maker Richard Slater Jones, who directed the 2012 documentary film Saving Rhino Phila, said film producers faced a "difficult balance between information and entertainment".

Films that showed men battling crocodiles with their bare hands drew audiences and pushed up television ratings.

Films on the rhino did not fall into that category.

Another film maker, Peter Lamberti, said he was not sure how the rhino issue could achieve more entertainment value to attract more attention.

The latest figures showed that 514 rhinos had been killed by poachers in South Africa this year.

The Kruger National Park bore the brunt of the poaching with 321 killed in the park, while 54 have been killed in Limpopo, 53 in North West, and 43 in KwaZulu-Natal.

The animals are hunted for their horns which are used primarily for traditional medicinal purposes in Vietnam and China. Horns are also prized in the Yemen as dagger handles.

The panel discussion was part of Wild Talk Africa, the largest international wildlife and natural history film festival and conference in Africa.

Read more on:    durban  |  conservation  |  rhino poaching

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