The Film

Trailer, Synopsis, Background

GAMBLING ON EXTINCTION is a powerful documentary that takes you from the killing fields in Kenya and South Africa to the trading hubs of Vietnam and China with undercover investigators, rangers, ex-poachers, conservationists and buyers. Director Jakob Kneser exposes the lethal mechanisms of the global trade, the terrorist connection, explains who the customers are, what generates demand, and what can be done to stop the slaughter.

This is a story about greed and a merciless battle over a limited resource: Wild elephants and rhinos. It is in fact the dark side of globalization: Ivory and rhino horn have become lucrative commodities. It is now a 20 billion dollar a year business, the most lucrative after drugs and weapons and has been taken over by powerful, connected, heavily armed international syndicates.

As numbers go down the prices go up, making it a perverse futures market in extinction. Poaching is an international crime. It will take a concerted international response to stop it. As Allan Thornton, President of the Environmental Investigation Agency, says: The world has two choices. We can have elephants. Or we can have ivory trade. We can’t have both.

GAMBLING ON EXTINCTION is a treaty co-production between a&o buero filmproduktion gmbh in Germany and Real to Reel in Canada.

People in the Film
Extinction is no longer simply a by-product of poaching it’s the very purpose of it.