(EN)SNARED, a short film about Wild Dog Conservation
Almost four years ago now, I traveled back to South Africa after having spent three incredible months there about a year earlier during a study abroad trip. This time, I was going back to be a conservation intern with Wildlife ACT in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Ever since my feet had first hit South African soil, I was captivated by the country and the wildlife and felt the desire to help protect them. That was why I had come back.
Wildlife ACT is a conservation organization devoted to monitoring, tracking, and protecting wildlife in the various KZN parks. They have a particular focus on the African wild dog, also known as the African painted dog (Lycaon pictus) because of the characteristic black, brown and white patterns on their coats. Wild dogs are endangered due to habitat fragmentation, infectious disease, and human-wildlife conflict in the form of poaching, specifically by snares (IUCN Red List) (See the video below). Wildlife ACT has worked tirelessly to protect the species and ensure that the current wild dog populations retain as much genetic diversity as possible, which is essential for promoting the health and survival of the species.
A pack of wild dogs rests in the road after a successful hunt in Tembe Elephant Park, KZN during my internship with Wildlife ACT. © TerraLens Photography LLC.
I recieved the Wildlife ACT e-mail newsletter this morning and in it they highlighted a special short film (15 mins long) created by Sinamatella Productions, titled (EN)SNARED. The film describes the conflict between African wild dog populations and the local communities in KZN and what organizations like Wildlife ACT are doing to counteract the conflicts and protect wild dogs through the engagement of local communities.
Learn more about volunteering and becoming an intern with Wildlife ACT in South Africa, Botswana and Malawi.
(EN)SNARED from Sinamatella Productions
Can conservation find happy endings despite complexity, change and tragic circumstances?
Life in rural communities is in a state of flux: children are receiving more education than their parents, traditional and political leadership wrestle for control, government service delivery is poor, unemployment is rife and modernity is putting pressure on age-old cultures.
Similarly, conservationists are facing their own challenges. There are less than 5 000 Wild Dogs left in existence, funding sources are scarce, conflicts of interest flare, models of beneficiation are being tested and new technology needs to be deployed.
This film explores one such rural community where the lives of poachers and Wild Dogs intersect with tragic consequences."