Namibia — In the Etosha National Park


A film by Lisa Eder
© 2007 / 43 min (German+French) / Digi Beta / 16:9 / Stereo

Mark Jago has been trekking through the bush for weeks. In May, when the rain is over, it is high season in Namibia for the trapping of wild animals. "On the first glance it seems contradictory, that we hunt elephants, rhinos and giraffes. We anesthetize them, we stress them — and we do all that even though we are the ones who are responsible for their welfare and their survival." But fact is, that this is the only way to keep the livestock healthy in the long run.

The 49-years old Briton is veterinary in Etosha — a famous national park in the North of Namibia. Founded about a hundred years ago, Etosha belongs to the oldest national parks in the world. But certainly it is not an ideal world: Lions, rhinos, zebras, elephants and giraffes compete with the human beings for land, water and food. Therefore it is extremely important to involve the local residents into the management of the park. "Only if the population is willing to help us", Mark Jago says, "the protection of the wild animals can be of long continuance. A living rhino has a greater value than a dead one. That has to be clear in the minds of people."

With twenty other Rangers he fights his way through the brier wood. Time presses: they have finally spotted the herd of giraffes that is supposed to be resettled. Jago changes over to the helicopter and then finally he shoots the giraffes with narcotics. Later they expose them in another area of the park. "With this kind of actions we try to obtain the genetic diversity", Jago explains. "Another reason for trapping the wild animals is research purpose. This is the only way to examine ecological coherences and to obtain the variety of species." Their success proves them right. Concerning the protection of nature and animals, Namibia has a leading role in whole Africa.

The film shows Mark Jago and a group of Rangers in their highly dangerous actions in rough terrain.



Written and directed by Lisa Eder
Cinematography: Raphael Scriba
Sound: Bernd Curschmann
Editing: Bettina Heilingbrunner
Sound mix: Thomas Bastian
Music: Hans Wiedemann
Production manager: Markus Breimaier
Production assistant: Anna Brass
Producer: Thomas Wartmann
Commissioning editor: Ulrike Becker, SWR

A coproduction of Filmquadrat & Südwestrundfunk
in collaboration with ARTE.


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