Africa and all its beauty is their heritage too – protecting wildlife, our rhino, elephant, pangolin, tiger – its all a global responsibility and if we do not wake up and make some changes we will lose the animals we share this earth with and our children will not be able to have the experiences that we can today. Also – I encourage everyone to visit Africa – it is truly amazing and important to celebrate this amazing continent.
Heroes in Africa |
An untold story by James Suter
James Suter is a private photographic guide and filmmaker. He takes private guided safaris each year to various locations throughout Africa and also travels with the team at Black Bean Productions (@blackbeanproductions) – and create content.
We have done a lot of work that we hope creates awareness around the plight of wildlife in Africa but also the importance of ‘changing conservation’ and how more and more people that are successfully working to protect areas in Africa take a more holistic approach. It is important that communities living alongside conservation areas benefit from these areas / from the conservation. Local ownership and buy in is so key. We don’t only do documentary style films in the area of conservation / wildlife – we also work in commercial film and have enjoyed growing in this area based out of Cape Town in South Africa.
By doing the work he does – they teach more individuals every day about Africa, the wildlife, the people. They make individuals aware of the plight of rhinos, elephants, lions, and pangolins, just through the content they create and inspire them (people) to get involved in their own way.
We hope to put Africa on the map, and to not only create awareness and help in raising much needed funds but that we also celebrate Africa and encourage people to spend time here.
What is the toughest part of your job?
There are many challenges – seeing the hardships faced by so many people in poverty stricken areas of Africa, being face to face with a poached rhino or elephant and understanding that this crisis is getting worse. Another challenge is creating this content and feeling that not enough people are seeing it – its hard to get our work out there at times and to reach a larger audience – but we are growing and learning and feel each new person we educate is a victory in itself.
What is Poaching?
Poaching is illegal capturing, killing, taking of wildlife.
Currently this is happening at an alarming rate to many species globally.
Both rhinos and elephants are being killed daily in Africa due to the demand for rhino horn and ivory. Pangolins – most poached and illegally trafficked mammal in the world.
South Africa has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and is an incredibly important country for rhino conservation. However rhino poaching levels have dramatically escalated over recent years. It has become a real war, a crisis and there are so many layers to it. It is complex and we have learnt so much – we visited the last three northern white rhinos this year on assignment for @unitedforwildlife at the @olpejeta conservancy and we were hit hard by the reality that if we do not make a change we will lose the animals, like this subspecies that we share the earth with.
There are only three left!
What is being done about it? Who is protecting the wild life today?
There are so many organizations working to put a stop to poaching, working to protect our wildlife. This ranges from those on the ground – the anti-poachers working in the field to protect wildlife, putting their lives at risks to those people rescuing rhino and elephant orphans whose mothers have been poached and rearing these young calves so they have a chance of a normal life again in the wild. There are organization and projects all over Africa but they need support. We have worked with a number of individuals doing amazing things in conservation – follow me and @blackbeanproductions to learn more or watch our films on our website www.blackbeanproductions.com
How can others help? Is there somewhere they can donate?
Yes! However it depends which part of the fight you feel most drawn to – you can donate to organizations such as the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit – an organization made up of mostly women patrolling an area in Greater Kruger and making a huge difference. You can support Ol Pejeta and the make a rhino project – that hopes to use IVF technology to save the last remaining northern white rhinos.
You can support @hesc_endangeredspeciescentre or @careforwild who look after rhino orphans and rehabilitate them back into the wild! David Attenborough said in a talk he gave that if we are to save Africa’s mega-fauna that we need to get alongside individuals doing the work already on the ground – the experts and allow them to expand upon what they are doing – through funding, and support.
Let us know if you have any questions and want to donate.
Seeing a project we believe in thrive and take on more. The good work that people are doing throughout Africa is inspiring, there are so many unsung heroes that are really making a huge difference. Meeting them is a privilege – and seeing them succeed makes us happy. I also love that I am able to see such incredible places through the work we do, spend time with people and wildlife in Africa.
I am grateful for this opportunity always.
Please follow James Suter on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jamessuter/?hl=en