Stroop Archives - Rhino Review

South African filmmakers win top award and donate prize money to Kruger K9 unit

By Antipoaching, Conservation No Comments
SAPeople | December 2, 2019

Read the original story here

South African filmmakers, who on Friday won a top conservation award for their anti-rhino poaching documentary, have donated the R20,000 prize money to the Kruger National Park Special Ranger K9 Unit.

The multiple award-winning wildlife crime thriller, ‘STROOP – journey into the rhino horn war’, received its 26th award this weekend when the documentary’s filmmakers, Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod were honoured with the SANParks Kudu Award for Best Television Journalism for 2018/2019.

The film – which has received so many accolades from around the world, and helped raise awareness for the plight of SA’s rhino – means a lot to SAPeople members whose crowdfunding at the beginning played a part in helping ensure the important film did get made. (You can stream Stroop here.)

Original photo as published by SA People News: Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott SANParks Kudu Winners 2019. (Photos supplied.)

In addition to the coveted Kudu trophy, the award comes with a R20,000 cash prize which the filmmakers will be giving to the Special Ranger K9 Unit based in the Kruger National Park.

“So thrilled that we can give back to fight on the ground,” said television presenter and filmmaker Bonné de Bod at the glittering award ceremony held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on 29 November, adding “the dogs are a successful component to the unit and despite being ‘low-tech’, they are costly to have and we urge those in the public to give if they can to efforts there”.

Director Susan Scott added, “this very unit is featured in STROOP and they allowed us access into their closed world for several years, which of course is just incredible to have that kind of access at the epicenter of the rhino horn war, but this was hugely brave of them to trust us to tell their story to the world.

“It’s only fitting that we give back to them and we also know they will put this money to better use than we ever will!”

For their last cash prize, the passionate Stroop filmmakers shared the money with their mothers who they had moved in with during the four years of filming, when they had to sell everything to financially support the movie getting made.

This time the filmmakers will be donating the full cash prize to the SANParks Honorary Rangers who will ensure that the elite fighting unit in the Kruger will receive the donation.

Scott and de Bod already have an established relationship with the SANParks Honorary Rangers who receive a percentage of STROOP DVD sales from the Park’s Shops inside the Kruger National Park.

The filmmakers have stipulated that these funds directly benefit the ranger efforts inside the park.

Hosted annually, the Kudu Award is one of the country’s top conservation prizes given by the South African National Parks (SANParks) to recognize deserving conservationists including SANParks staff, NGO partners as well as the media.

According to Fundisile Mketeni, SANParks CEO, “Awareness of conservation issues is of vital importance and if we want to better protect our national parks… we need to educate and inform the public. The media are key in this role. Tonight we honour those leading the way in informing the world.”

The panel of judges said that the filmmakers were being recognized for creating an outstanding rhino awareness tool through the medium of storytelling and that they had made an immense contribution to dissemination of conservation information through the use of television.

The eye-opening, world-acclaimed documentary had its African television premiere on M-Net on World Rhino Day and screened in Afrikaans on kykNET back in September. STROOP is currently available on Showmax in SA and overseas (in most countries). (If you haven’t watched it yet – take advantage of Showmax’ special 14-day free offer and you can watch it now.)

Other winners on Friday included ‘Kruger Magazine’ which won Best Publication for Media Contribution to Conservation & Eco-Tourism.


Top environmental awards for STROOP and wildlife carer Karen Trendler (South Africa)

By Antipoaching No Comments
SA People | November 13, 2019

Read the original story here

JOHANNESBURG: ‘STROOP – Journey into the rhino horn war’ took the Video Media (Long Form) Award for 2019 at the South African Breweries (SAB) Environmental Media of the Year in Johannesburg last night.

This is the 25th award for the filmmakers of STROOP, Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod. An emotional de Bod stated last night that “the film has won so many international awards which is wonderful of course! But it’s very important to be recognized back home.

“This is a very prestigious award, and has been given out by SAB for over thirty years, so to have the focus put squarely on rhino poaching, considering all the environmental issues out there, is just vital and I’m very pleased about that.”

One of the film’s ‘characters’, Karen Trendler, was also honoured with the Nick Steele Memorial Award for Environmentalist of the Year – the top nod at the award ceremony.

Original photo as published by SA People: Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod at the Award ceremony. (Photos supplied.)

“How wonderful that Karen has been recognized for her 30 years of service to caring for and rewilding wild animals!” Scott went on to say that world famous wildlife rehabilitator Trendler, shared this with notable environmentalists who have made meaningful impact in their fields like the UN Patron for the Oceans, Lewis Pugh and lion advocate Gareth Patterson.

This is the first cash award that the filmmakers have won for the film and Scott says they are choosing to share it with their mothers who they moved in with during the four years of filming on STROOP.

The Awards, now in their third decade, aim to recognize South African journalists who have excelled at reporting on, and creating awareness of, environmental issues across print, electronic and digital media. MC of the event, Bongani Bingwa said it was a unanimous decision by the judges for the hard-hitting South African film that has ignited world-wide interest in rhino poaching and has screened at numerous film festivals as well as on tv-channels around the globe.

If you’re in South Africa, or several countries around the world – you can screen STROOP here.

Horns belong on rhinos

By Antipoaching, Conservation, Illegal trade No Comments
Alleyn Diesel, City Press | October 10, 2019

Read the original story here

The documentary Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War should have torn apart any idealistic illusions that might encourage venturing into the horror of animal trafficking on the conjecture that deliberately dehorning rhinos and selling their horns is guaranteed to raise funds needed for rhino preservation.

This harrowingly emotive film was researched and made over four years by two courageous, determined women, Susan Scott and Bonne de Bod, who covertly penetrated the infernal underbelly of Vietnamese and Chinese trafficking syndicates to gain first-hand insight into the results of their iniquitous modus operandi.

Presently, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species bans international trade in rhino horn, but it is evident that some private rhino owners are illegally trading with Asian markets, even stockpiling horn in the expectation that prices will rise.

For so-called conservationists to advocate any attempt to become legally entangled with such enterprise is manifestly criminal and recklessly immoral.

Original photo as published by City Press: A rhino stands after its horn has been removed at Nambiti Private Game Reserve. (PHOTO: Jonathan Burton)

Claiming the only way to quantify the value of rhinos is by utilising the monetary value of their horns, regarding them as commodities sold to the highest bidder, alarmingly plays into the notion that the only true value of anything is measured in financial terms – ignoring the fact that all creatures have inherent worth, regardless of their perceived value to humans, let alone to ruthless traffickers who reduce these iconic creatures to useless street-market items and fake cures.

Nineteenth century philosopher John Stuart Mill observed that animals are capable of suffering, maintaining that ethical actions are those which minimise pain and maximise pleasure.

This demonstrates that animals are subjects of ethical concern, disputing the anthropocentric view of the superiority of humans, assumed to bestow the right to manipulate and exploit all animal life.

Respect for animal wellbeing is a matter of justice, not merely compassion, according them the right to a flourishing existence.

Contemporary thinkers such as Peter Singer, Lori Gruen and South African novelist JM Coetzee are at the forefront of championing animal rights.

Animal rights theory emphasises the sentience of animals, possessing rights which accord them equal consideration and protection with humans.

Thus they should never be reduced to the status of a useful resource, existing primarily for the benefit of humans.

They have a right to not be tortured, mutilated, confined, hunted for sport, raised or trapped for their fur or other parts, or trained to perform in circuses and rodeos to entertain humans.

Linking human rights and animal rights emphasises that all exploitation of, and violence against, living creatures is inextricably interconnected.

Animal trafficking syndicates are frequently engaged in trafficking of women and children, as well as guns and drugs.

Anything that will garner high profit is regarded as fair game. Virtually all exploitation of animals is motivated by unscrupulous material greed that relegates animals to merchandise.

The case against legalising trade in horn also involves the means/ends argument. The ends do not justify the means.

If you believe the end goal is ethically justified, you must employ ethical means to achieve it, lest the integrity of the goal is sabotaged by the use of incompatible methods.

It is therefore morally inconsistent to advocate that breeding captive lions to sell for slaughter to opulent Americans with high-powered assault rifles lusting for blood sports is an acceptable method of conserving our irreplaceable wildlife in its natural habitat.

Attempting to stamp out poaching and illegal trafficking by engaging the traffickers in their own evil game, attempting to legalise what is essentially destructive and without moral justification is a travesty, is fundamentally flawed and lacks all integrity.

There is no foolproof way to distinguish legal from illegal rhino horn.

Supporting trade in horn sustains the myth of its medical potency, conceding that this fallacious conviction is ineradicable, its demand too entrenched to be defeated.

The documentary illustrates how continually capturing, sedating and mutilating rhinos to sustain trade in their horns is intolerably invasive, stressful and injurious to the wellbeing of these ancient noble giants.

Deprived of their horns, rhinos are rendered vulnerable, unable to dig for food and water, and stripped of the main means of protecting their young from predators such as hyenas.

Sustaining anachronistic, cruel practices that are inimical to human, animal and environmental wellbeing must be faced head-on, even if it involves uncomfortable discarding of medieval mind-sets.

Civilised societies no longer countenance slavery, burning those perceived as witches, blood sports, bear-baiting, mutilating humans or animals for cultural or aesthetic reasons, using bone, ivory, scales and other animal parts for medicinal or decorative purposes.

Surely all compassionate humans should recognise these arguments as incontrovertibly conclusive and refuse to turn a blind eye to this continual shameful, human-imposed suffering.

I believe the single long-term approach to protecting creatures of this planet is to ban all trade in animal parts, rigorously focusing efforts on eradicating the machinations of depraved, avaricious poachers and traders.

Stroop* reveals the many combined initiatives involved, such as working together with rural communities near national parks, educating them to appreciate the value of wildlife for the long-term survival of our natural environment and discouraging men from succumbing to the temptation of recruitment by trafficking syndicates.

We must demand that our government show more commitment to saving its irreplaceable wildlife by acting decisively against the corruption of government ministers implicated in cover-ups of poaching and trafficking.

We must implement more efficient prosecutions of arrested poachers and immediately halt their devastating plunder.

Finally, we must recognise that rhino horn removed from the animals is a symbol of death and suffering, not life and health; that nature endowed rhinos with horns and this is where they belong.

*Stroop means to poach or, literally, “to strip bare”.

Diesel has a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Natal and is an animal rights activist.

Carte Blanche with the amazing story behind award-winning rhino poaching doccie, ‘Stroop’

By Antipoaching, Education No Comments
Jasmine Stone, 2 Oceans Vibe | September 17, 2019

See link for photo & 10-minute video.

Some stories are harder to tell than others, and the team who made Stroop certainly embarked on an emotional rollercoaster these past few years.

Rhino poaching has all but decimated the South African population, and the African population as a whole, but there are still those fighting on the front line to keep these animals safe.

At times, this Carte Blanche segment from Sunday makes for very difficult viewing, but it’s also a testament to the incredible work of those who made Stroop happen.

Original photo as published by 2oceansvibe.com.

Here’s their write-up:

“The Afrikaans word for ‘stripping bare’ – Stroop, is a carefully chosen depiction of the decimation caused by the unrelenting poaching of rhinos for their horns in South Africa, and the name of an unflinching documentary exposing the forces behind the horn trade on two continents.

Now feted for their courage and grit, director Susan Scott and on-camera journalist Bonné de Bod gave up their day jobs, cashed in their insurance policies and moved home to live with their mothers, to fund their four-year odyssey into this criminal underworld.

With Stroop garnering international accolades, Carte Blanche meets the women who risked everything to bring the story home.”