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The Poacher's Pipeline

The Poacher’s Pipeline doesn’t just tell the story of rhino poaching. Instead this groundbreaking documentary reveals the global syndicates that fuel the illegal killing. It’s a trail that leads beyond the criminals to a South African minister, diplomats and even the delegation of the Chinese Premier.

Rhino horn has become one of the most traded products on the international black market. It’s no longer considered just a traditional medicine. It has become a commodity traded along with drugs and weapons by major criminal syndicates.

The horns from an adult rhino can sell for up to $250,000. The villagers who kill the endangered animals are paid by well-organised criminal syndicates and receive a mere fraction of that.

During secretly filmed conversations, a South Africa-based trafficker admitted that he stays in business through bribing police and government officials. His biggest revelation was that his “good friend” is a local politician who has become South Africa’s Minister of State Security.

There have been several arrests following the transmission of The Poacher’s Pipeline. The main trafficker featured in the program has apparently fled the country and opposition politicians have made formal demands for the State Security Minister to be investigated.

China has now announced plans to implement a ban on domestic commercial trade of ivory and horn, in order to protect the endangered species of Africa.

The Poachers Pipeline reframes the debate over preservation by exposing the reasons why the illegal trade continues - and what must be done to stop it.

  • Peter Charley
    Executive Producer
  • Deborah Davies
    Reporter / Writer
  • Jeremy Young
    Senior Producer
  • Kevin Hirten
  • Craig Pennington
    Director of Photography
  • Nic Dove
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 12, 2016
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
    Washington, DC
    United States
    March 17, 2017
  • Headliners Awards
    Atlantic City
    United States
    Broadcast or cable television stations documentary or series of reports on the same subject - Second place