Shopping for Rhinos (Aug 1996)
Deep in the parkland of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, an extraordinary auction is about to take place. The Umfolozi-Lhulhuwe Park combines conservation with commerce. To raise funds, it farms out rhinos, giraffes and deer to zoos and parks from all over the world.
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Out in the tawny grassland, a vet and team of wardens are hunting down a white rhino with tranquillizer guns. Once stunned, their muscular victim lies unconscious with its hooves trembling. A helicopter hovers above, ready to hoist the rhino - wrapped in a cargo net - to the auction. In a stripy marquee, the feverish bidding begins. Tense faces listen to the auctioneer's babble as six black rhinos are sold for $300,000. Inevitably some of the animals are sold to Safari hunters. Park authorities maintain that profit raised for conservation justifies game hunting. A wildlife report which highlights the commercial realities of conservation.
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Produced by ABC Australia - Ref 0249
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures