Sidonie: It really pains me when I see that a poacher killed an elephant. When I find the carcasses, I cry as I would cry for a human being, 00:00:54 – 00:01:08 Arthur Intro Arthur: Since I can remember, there has been nothing else apart of nature and animals which was my dream. So, I think it’s naturally within me to be close to the animals and try to protect them 00:01:22 – 00:01:41 LAGA intro Eric Kaba Tah: We understand that the wildlife problem in Africa today cannot be solved with mere … speeches. We need urgent action in dealing with the forest elephant poaching crisis. 00:01:45 – 00:02:00 Clement intro Clement: When there is more elephant poaching, elephant behavior also changes. They become more nocturnal and they are very quiet. 00:02:11 – 00:02:31 TITLE SEQUENCE – SILENT FORESTS 00:02:32 – 00:02:47 LOCATION GRAPHIC AND POPULATION SLATES.. (Show African continent.. then blur) MOST ILLEGALLY TRAFFICKED ELEPHANT IVORY CAN BE TRACED BACK TO TWO AREAS OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT (Unblur, Zoom into Congo Basin, then blur) THE CONGO BASIN IS ONE OF THEM (then unblur and show country outlines for Cameroon and Congo Brazza) Then go to image of drone over forest, and final slate: THE FOREST ELEPHANT POPULATION IN THIS REGION HAS DECLINED OVER 60% IN THE LAST DECADE DUE TO POACHING 00:02:49 00:02:55 00:03:04 – 00:03:17 00:03:22 00:03:34 CLEMENT SCENE 1 Locator Map Graphic 00:03:35 Clement: I moved to a small village called Simonbondo to study the elephants. 00:03:39 – 00:03:50 CLEMENT LOWER THIRD: Clement Inkamba-Nkulu Biologist WCS / Elephant Listening Project Congo-Brazzaville 00:03:53 – 00:03:59 (Verite of Clement directing team:) “How many people is that for? (Nine.) Why nine people? I told you already there were ten. Change it .’ 00:04:06 – 00:04:16 Show clement’s team preparing all the equipment and packs, loading them onto car, and starting to drive out. Clement: It's far and difficult to get to our elephant clearings. 00:04:31 – 00:04:39 Clement: It takes a lot of planning. Transportation, money and human resources. 00:04:42 – 00:04:54 (Whole team clearing trees with car) Clement: “Push! Let’s push again” 00:05:01 – 00:05:02 Clement: The backpacks that we're carrying weigh about 30 kilos.. (66 pounds) “Let’s go” 00:05:27 –00:05;30 Clement: The entire first day is a walking day. The clearing is far: 26 kilometers 00:05:34 – 00:05:47 Clement: For me, working in the forest is a calling. I feel truly whole when I'm with my team here... Even when I’m not at my site, when I go back to my village for a while, my heart remains in the forest. It's as if I was made to work in the forest. 00:06:00- 00:06:42 Clement: Since the discovery of the clearing.. its been ten years and few around the world know of it 00:07:27 – 00:07:39 Clement “There’s another individual coming” 00:07:43 – 00:07:45 Clement: My work focuses on Forest elephants 00:08:11 – 00:08:13 Clement: Forest elephants differ from the savannah elephants. 00:08;19 – 00:08:22 Clement: Savanna elephants weigh up to 4 tons. The savanna elephants tusk’s are pretty big and curve upward. That prevents them from going into the forest. 00:08:25- 00:08:45 Clement: Forest elephants weigh less. Forest elephants have pretty long tusks but they are straighter and slightly curved downward. 00:08:48 – 00:09:05 Clement: The forest elephants are very important to the regeneration of the forest. they eat fruits, seeds, and then they walk around and defecate. In the elephant dung, many plant species germinate. They are good at disseminating species. 00:09:09 - 00:09:35 Clement: They're gardeners. The ones who plant the forest. 00:09:39 – 00:09:42 Clement: I recommend to the government to create protected areas here. We want to be legally recognized as a park. We’d place permanent campgrounds with eco guards who would do the real conservation work. 00:09:46 – 00:10:07 SIDONIE SCENE 1 Locator map graphic 00:10:43 SIDONIE LOWER THIRD: Sidonie Asseme Eco-Guard WWF / Nki National Park Cameroon 00:10:54 - 00:11:00 Sidonie National Parks in Cameroon are different from European parks. Only the eco-guards and poachers are here... poachers to hunt, and eco-guards to protect. 00:11:04 - 00:11:26 Sidonie In Cameroon, I’m the first woman eco guard at Nki National Park. It makes me proud because there are now many women doing this. 00:11:32 – 00:11:52 Sidonie Eco guards are the guardians of the forest... for the trees, animals, and waters. 00:11:56- 00:12:05 Sidonie When I see an elephant I feel joy in my heart, for me it’s like my father, my mother, my child. I love the elephants, I love protecting them, because they are on a path to demise. any people are exterminating them for money. 00:12:20- 00:12:48 Sidonie The forest patrols are for fighting against poaching. 00:12:55 – 00:13:01 Sido: The poachers slept there. Male Eco guard: They cooked the meat here. They built something like this to cook the meat. It’s possible that they were big time poachers. Sidonie: They spent a night here, and had no success, so they next day they left. 00:13:10 – 00:13:34 Sidonie I really love my job, so I can’t be discouraged by poachers threatening to beat me. I can’t even remember all the times the poachers have hurt us. 00:13:50 - 00:14:31 Sidonie We can’t really defend ourselves. We do not have guns when we are patrolling. 00:14:43 – 00:14:49 Sidonie The government organized a patrol at the Cameroon and Central African Republic border. During this mission, the Central Africans attacked my unarmed colleagues and killed one of them. On a recent patrol, a poacher tried to kill me with a gun. 00:14:54 – 00:15:19 Sidonie We need weapons to defend ourselves. We can’t fight with our fists against poachers who have guns. 00:15:23 – 00:15:30 ARTHUR SCENE 1 Locator Map Graphic 00:15:54 Arthur My name is Arthur Sniegon and I’m from Czech Republic. 00:16:03 – 00:16:06 ARTHUR LOWER THIRD: Arthur F. Sniegon Activist/Lead Trainer Anti-Poaching Sniffer Dog Program Congo-Brazzaville 00:16:08 – 00:16:13 Arthur I’ve been lucky enough to grow in a family full of travelers and adventurers. 00:16:31 – 00:16:35 Arthur And because of my father, somehow it happened, that we went to Central Africa in 2010. 00:16:38 – 00;16:42 Arthur So that is when I fell in love with this part of Africa. 00:16:47 – 00:16:50 Arthur I decided to return in 2013, I took my bike and inflatable kayak and I crossed seven countries in this region trying to get as close as I can to the living elephants. 00:16:52 – 00:17:05 Arthur So, it’s naturally within me to be close to the animals and try to protect them and spend time with them. 00;17:17 – 00:17:27 Arthur I realized that I can focus my attention fully on the protection of wildlife, especially elephants. 00:17:34 – 00:17:41 Arthur And that’s how I first met forest elephants 00:17:48 – 00:17:51 Arthur Forest elephants are one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve encountered during my lifetime 00:17:51 – 00:17:57 Arthur Of course I knew that the poaching exists and the elephants are being targeted. But in my country there was not a steady update on the real situation of the elephants. 00:18:01 - 00:18:11 Arthur The elephant loss here is enormous and it’s much higher than anywhere else in Africa. 00:18:20 – 00:18:26 Arthur That’s how I started to be very focused on the forest elephants. 00:18:30 – 00:18:32 Arthur It’s being reported that this stronger and harder forest elephant ivory is being more valued on the Asian markets.. the ivory is significantly harder for carving 00:18:40 – 00:18:49 Arthur I was actually trying to get more information from the firsthand and It happened that I met Naftali here in Congo. And we started to think about the angle of the wildlife traffic in my journey. 00:18:52 - 00:19:03 Arthur it was Naftali who was who started this dog program. 00:19:07 – 00:19:11 Arthur The sniffer dog program is another very powerful tool how to fight the wildlife trade. It has been created as a first program of its kind in Central Africa. 00:19:12 – 00:19:21 Arthur Our dog handlers accompany our dogs into the field. They help them to detect the products or the wildlife 00:19:24 – 00:19:31 Arthur No matter what you used for disguising the thing, sniffer dogs can still find it. 00:19:35 – 00:19:38 Arthur “That’s protected…” 00:20:00 Arthur Once it was a car fully loaded of nearly 400 kilo of bush meat and poachers inside. 00:20:05 – 00:20:09 Arthur They are trained also for different kind of living animals 00:20:22 – 00:20:25 Arthur Every single day of our presence in the field led to some interception of poachers or traffickers with protected species 00:20:35 – 00:20:43 Arthur The first smell which our adult sniffer dogs started to learn how to detect was ivory. it was even a surprise to me that the ivory had some odor which is detectable by a dog, but of course any natural matter, it has an odor. 00:20:52 – 00:21:09 Arthur They also sniff out different kinds of ammunition 00:21:15 - 00:21:17 Arthur “Dogs! Dogs! Dogs!” 00:21:29 Arthur They sniff for the guns themselves 00:21:35 “They are capable of anything, no?” 00:21:40 Arthur The ivory poaching is very closely bonded to other criminal activities and threats not only to wildlife, but also to humans. 00:21:45 – 00:21:51 Arthur Every ivory poaching requires a good gun. and the gun can be used tomorrow for another purpose. 00:21:56 – 00:22:03 Arthur We are always accompanied to the missions by police; who are allowed to arrest the wildlife traffickers. 00:22:06 – 00:22:16 Arthur When we are in the field, the situations when you face a direct threat of violence are not uncommon. 00:22:18 – 00:22:23 Arthur So we’ve seen machetes flying in the air, verbal threats, punching. But that only underlines the necessity to have a strong law reinforcement team in the back. 00:22:34 – 00:22:45 Arthur: “I recorded all of that” 00:22:46 – 00:22:47 Arthur When I joined the sniffer dog program, three months after its creation in 2014, it consisted of two adult dogs. And I’ve been able to get another dog donated from my country. 00:22:57 - 00:23:10 Arthur Cama is a female dog, And she has been brought from Czech Republic in early 2015 00:23:11 – 00:23:15 Arthur: “There’s something there” 00:23:18 Arthur So she became an integral part of the project, and then gave us the opportunity to breed the dogs 00:23:20 – 00:23:24 Arthur Cama spent maybe four and a half hours giving birth to the puppies.. it was a beautiful night 00:23:28 – 00:23:42 Arthur It was quite difficult to manage so many dogs at the same time in the beginning. The training of the puppies was a really long process. 00:23:53 – 00:24:00 Arthur I discovered that the toughest command for them is to stay, keep calm and do nothing. 00:24:03 - 00:24:10 Arthur We trained them the basic obedience, the basic communication with the handler, and the sniffing. 00:24:18 – 00:24:24 Arthur It’s nice to see animals working for other animals. Of course, they don’t know what they are doing. For them, it’s just a play but it’s something which is like simple, natural, you know? And we can use it for the good of the wildlife, which is something very nice. 00:24:39 - 00:24:55 LAGA SCENE 1 Locator Map Graphic 00:25:20 Eric The central African forest elephant is being decimated. 00:25:31 – 00:25:34 ERIC LOWER THIRD: Eric Kaba Tah Deputy Director LAGA Wildlife Law Enforcement Group Cameroon 00:25:37 – 00:25:42 Eric If measures are not taken we are looking directly at the demise of a wildlife species in the continent. 00:25:42 – 00:25;48 ONSCREEN TEXT: LAGA IS A SMALL, GRASSROOTS CONSERVATION GROUP BASED IN CAMEROON. THEY ARE PART OF A NETWORK OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE TACKLING WILDLIFE CRIME IN AFRICA’S MOST CHALLENGING AND CORRUPT COUNTRIES. 00:25:49 – 00:25:55 00:25:55 - 00:26:04 Eric All through central Africa, the baseline before these projects was zero prosecution of wildlife dealer 00:26:06 – 00:26:12 Eric LAGA came into being and signed a convention with the Cameroon government to assist the government in applying the wildlife laws. Two weeks after that, the first wildlife trafficker was arrested and sent to jail. People said “wow, someone has been arrested for trafficking wildlife’. And that’s when it took off. 00:26:14 – 00:26:33 Eric From there, right up to today, for more than 10 years, a wildlife trafficker is arrested every week in Cameroon 00:26:46 – 00:26:53 Eric There has been an explosion in ivory trafficking. 00:27:02 – 00:27:05 Eric When LAGA started running its activities, you could buy ivory on the streets. But today you will not see ivory on the streets.. 00:27:13 – 00:27:20 Eric The problem is that everything has gone underground and our job now is to bring them out, to make sure they are arrested. 00:27:24 – 00:27:30 Thomas I create missions. I send investigators in the field to verify intelligence and infiltrate a network. 00:27:45 – 00:27:52 LOWER THIRD: “Thomas” Head of Investigations LAGA Undercover Unit 00:27:55 – 00:28:00 Thomas I have a very good team in place. I have four good investigators. 00:28:00 – 00:28:06 Thomas (on the phone) And what about the number of dealers? 2. Yes, can you describe them a little? What do they look like? 00:28:07 – 00:28:19 Thomas When I have all the information, I go to the legal department to let them know about the situation 00:28:21 – 00:28;27 Thomas They are between 35 and 45 years old. Apparently they have four chimpanzee skulls, 1 elephant jaw, 1 elephant knee and 1 elephant femur. 00:28:28 – 00:28:43 Aime to Ekane: Ekane - Can you call the district prosecutor? Ekane (on the phone) Hello. It’s Ekane from LAGA. I’m fine. Aime We are coming tomorrow Ekane Yes. We’ll do the operation as planned 00:28:45 – 00:29:04 Meeting sound up: Investigator: “He is a big hunter. He even has a gun at his house. He called himself “sans peur’. ‘Without fear” Thomas: Open the map Investigator: This is Tonga. The first dealer is based in Tonga. 00:29:30 - 00:29:48 Sound up in car: “It’s very dangerous here in Tonga.” 00:29:52 – 00:29:55 Eric One thing is clear about the investigators – they are the most at risk for physical harm. They come face to face with the traffickers, you don’t want to let many of people know who they are. 00:29:59 – 00:30:10 Thomas The pressure mounts and mounts and its really great. 00:30:11 – 00:30:18 Sound up in car: “Does the investigator know the dealer's house?” Thomas: Yes, the investigator knows the dealer's house 00:30:22 – 00:30:27 Thomas: ‘They will start here…” 00:30:29 – 00:30:31 LAGA team member: We will start in the living room. Go room by room, piece by piece. 00:30:36 – 00:30:44 LAGA team member: It’s you that killed the elephant, yes or no? Poacher: No. no. Not me. Not me. LAGA: Who gave you the gun? Poacher: I don’t have it. I don’t have it. 00:31:08- 00:31:25 Thomas Let’s go 00:31:37 – 00:31:38 Poacher Yes, Mom!! 00:32:00 – 00:32:01 Thomas Right after the arrest, we searched his house 00:33:00 – 00:33:07 Thomas The presumed trafficker had already sold the ivory way before that They first start with ivory, before trading bones. 00:33:15 – 00:33:27 LOWER THIRD: District Prosecutor’s Office Delegate questioning: Thomas: This is the object Delegate: Is that from your house? Poacher 1: Sir, I’ve had these items at my house for more than 20 years. Delegate: Where does it come from? Poacher 1: How can I remember, sir? Delegate: You have ornaments in your house without knowing where they come from? Poacher: The person who gave it to me has been dead for 20 years, sir. Delegate: You know the law. 00:33:47 - 00:34:20 (00:34:20) Thomas When we arrest them, they try to defend themselves. That’s why we do our best to arrest them “red handed” (in flagrante delicto) 00:34:21 – 00:34:33 Thomas We caught him in an obvious situation where he was selling elephant trophies and mandrill skulls. 00:34:38 – 00:34:45 Eric We have over 90% of corruption attempts recorded in our operations. 00:35:00 – 00:35:08 Ekane Corruption is one of the biggest challenges. Because corruption starts at the level of arrest. 00:35:10 – 00:35:13 LOWER THIRD: Ekane LAGA Legal Team Ekane Someone from the legal department has to be present at every stage of this wildlife law enforcement. 00:35:23 – 00:35:29 Ekane Concerning that case, two traffickers were forwarded before the district prosecutor and the two accused persons were tried in the court under the charge of illegal detention and circulation of parts of a totally protected wildlife species. 00:35:32 – 00:35:48 Ekane They were found guilty, but they were given a suspended sentence. For them to pay 45,000 francs (90 USD) each, or they serve 40 days imprisonment. But they paid the fines the court asked them to pay. 00:35:55 - 00:36:07 Ekane LAGA was not satisfied because our objective is to make sure that anyone who violates the wildlife law, stays behind bars. We are not interested in a suspended sentence. We are interested in the imprisonment time 00:36:11 – 00:36:28 Eric Corruption eats the fabric of our society, and it becomes even more dangerous when the corruption gets into the judiciary system – the judiciary that is expected to fight corruption. if it is taken over by corruption, the whole system collapses. 00:36:35 – 00:36:51 CLEMENT SCENE 2 Clement How do I study the elephants? 00:37:18 – 00:37:20 Clement We have the capability to see and understand them because we've built a platform. We built the observation deck 7 meters-high, We’re seated with cameras and equipment. 00:37:22 – 00:37:36 Clement The elephants go to the river. What’s important is that they consume the natural salt. When they drink the water, they realize it is a little salty. They think “maybe there's salt here” and they begin to dig. Dig deep. They uproot the trees and the trees fall. 00:37:44 - 00:38:14 Clement They are the architects of the clearings. 00:38:17 – 00:38:21 Clement It's a place that attracts other animals from the area. 00:38:25 – 00:38:31 Clement Elephants are social animals and so they use sound to communicate 00:38:51 – 00:38:59 Clement With the Elephant Listening Project, our objectives are to learn how these elephants communicate. 00:39:06 – 00:39:14 Various sound ups between clement and his assistants “Where is the tool?” “Still working” “I need.. it says check the power. 640. That is good. The battery is 6 volt. Now recording” 00:39:18 – 00:39:43 Clement We capture the sounds on site. 00:39:51 – 00:39:53 Clement We put the recording devices up in trees. This is so elephants can't knock them down and so the poachers can't take them. 00:40:00 – 00:40:15 Clement We put the recordings on a computer and open it in a program. Then you can see a spectrogram. The spectogram shows the frequency and the amplitude. This way, we can visualize the sound. 00:40:27 - 00:40:47 Clement In elephant language, there are nearly 30 types of sounds. 00:40:57 – 00:41:02 Clement When the elephant feels attacked, it trumpets, as an alarm cry. 00:41:07 – 00:41:14 Clement Also, there is the roar {ROAR SOUND}. 00:41;22 - 00:41:24 SILFor17_013117_Clement Interview_B-0171 When at ease, it calls its kids with this sound: the rumble. {RUMBLE SOUND low} 00:41:28 – 00:41:37 SPECTOGRAM VIDEO 00:41:39 Clement From the sounds, we can easily know if they are or aren't elephants in area. 00:41:50 - 00:41:58 Clement We can also quantify the number of elephants, after there’s been poaching. 00:41:59 - 00:42:05 JEAN PAUL SCENE 1 Locator Map Graphic Jean Paul The animals are like humans. They have to live in the forest, as we live in our village. 00:42:33 – 00:42:44 LOWER THIRD Jean Paul Doudoumo Cocoa Farmer / Community Leader Cameroon 00:42:45 Jean Paul But we go into the forest and wage war with them. 00:42:51 – 00:42:53 Jean Paul I started poaching because I was suffering, and I didn't have anything to give to my children. I felt shame when I hunted, but I couldn’t live without hunting. And I could get a lot from poaching. 00:43:00 - 00:43:27 Jean Paul I used to kill éléphants. Seven in total. 00:43:30 – 00:43:34 Jean Paul When I killed them, I felt terrible. The elephant is like a person They have feet like us, they eat like us. When you kill them, the family sees it, and flees into the forest. If you killed a dad elephant, who did the mom live with after that? We don’t want to kill them, but we need to survive. 00:43:44 - 00:44:24 ONSCREEN TEXT: JEAN PAUL STOPPED POACHING IN 2014, WHEN HE RECEIVED FINANCING TO START A COCOA FARM AND BUY A HERD OF GOATS. 00:44:30 – 00:44:38 Today, poaching can be stopped… If we keep poachers busy, if we finance them. If they give us real jobs, big projects, we can leave poaching behind, return to the village and forget about the forest. 00:44:44 00:45:06 Jean Paul We started with building the enclosure you see all around.. out of fear the goats will escape. 00:45:21 – 00:45;28 Jean Paul As time goes by, they will grow. There will be offspring. We'll then sell the older ones to have savings. With that money, we'll be able to expand and invest in other projects. 00:45:29 – 00:45:41 This is my new house. Three bedrooms and a living room. We worked hard to have this. 00:45:48 - 00:46:02 SIDONIE SCENE 2 Sidonie Often we organize checkpoints to control wildlife products that leave the forest. 00:47:05 – 00:47:12 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT You see here? These are the names of workers, the date… SIDONIE Huh-huh.. JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT Here are the license plate numbers, name of departure, company names.. SIDONIE Companies, yes.. 00:47:12 – 00:47:27 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT This is a key point of the national park. Both Sidonie and JPLB – “It’s the entry of the park” 00:47:28 – 00:47:36 SIDONIE There are no other roads elsewhere. Poachers often come through here 00:47:38 – 00:47:48 Hello. Yes? Forest Control Checkpoint 00:47:49 – 00:47:52 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT When there’s a violation, we record what’s inside and book it. We then question them to see if it was illegally obtained. If it is illegal, the merchandise is seized and sent to court. 00:47:54 – 00:48:08 Sidonie Sometimes we'll stop someone for a search, and they'll say "No, my truck will not be searched. I'm not in violation.. . I'm not transporting any meat or tusks. You can't just.. I'm not in violation, I’m not carrying ivory." So… sometimes, it becomes a fight. 00:48:15 – 00:48:33 SIDONIE We're doing our work. Don't be angry. Don't make it an issue. 00:48:34 – 00:48:40 SIDONIE I'm very proud because I'm a real eco-guard. Even without weapons, I'm able to seize ivory tusks and do my job. 00:48:43 – 00:48:51 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT We hate that the Ministry of Forestry forgets about means for our safety We're wholly without any protection against the poachers. 00:48:54 – 00:48:05 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT We're asking that the Cameroon Government provide us with suitable weapons... 00:49:06 – 00:49:12 JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT This {POINTING TO HIS GAS PISTOL} is mine. I brought it. SIDONIE ASSEME It's his. MBOA DESIRE It wasn't allocated. JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT It was not given. I paid to have it! SIDONIE ASSEME Even the simple uniform that you see. JEAN PAUL LATOUM BYABOT Even the uniform you, they don't give it to us. SIDONIE ASSEME This uniform that I bought is from 2011. 00:49:12 - 00:49:28 Sidonie If the government’s budget provided us with more financial ease.. we could at least to buy soap or candy for our children. But, we're left here to take care of ourselves. That's why some of our colleagues are vulnerable to corruption. 00:49:31 - 00:50:03 Sidonie Corruption in Cameroon is a plague that eats away at our country. 00:50:11 – 00:50:17 ARTHUR SCENE 2 Arthur I think that the current situation with having so many rescued animals in the house is a heritage for my family. In our household, we’ve always sheltered animals. So I have it in my blood. 00:50:43 – 00:50:53 Arthur Those are two cats which have been actually given to me by some magic power because they were born in the car parked in front of our house. I discovered that the mother of their kittens is gone or dead.. So I adopted the cats. 00:50:57 – 00:51:20 Arthur And then there are a couple of puppies, I found more than one month ago 00:51:29 – 00:51:35 Arthur So after deparasiting them and cleaning them, they happened to be very nice dogs. I even have the idea of training one of them for sniffing, which might be a great thing for us. The dogs are here, you don’t have to handle the expensive logistics and they are more resilient to local parasites and more resistant to the heat. 00:51:38 - 00:52:04 Arthur In this new house actually. I would estimate that a third of the time there’s no electricity, and 90 percent of the time no water.Things that can very easily be done in another part of the world, is very very difficult here in Congo. 00:52:14 – 00:52:28 Arthur This is also for us? Arthur opens the cabinet door, sees there is no bottom “what is this?” “Please there are certain problems. .,. this one also.. Cabinet maker: Shit, shit, they didn’t pay attention Arthur You have to fix it. it’s a nice desk, but the things that don’t work, you have to.. Cabinet Maker Ok, tomorrow afternoon.12 o clock 00:52:48 00:53:07 00:53:22 00:53:47 Arthur And many things, you know, are here like that. You are planning to finish something, there are some small things and you do it like, not once, but three times, and its taking so much energy. So instead of doing some important things you have to focus on small things all the time. 00:53:58 – 00:54:16 Arthur In the past few months, I spent much more work with paperwork and contact with people than the real action. 00:54:17 – 00:54:22 Arthur We are really having harsh times getting all our permissions needed for our work. So it’s a big paradox. We are having the fully operational dog units, we have the logistics to go to the field, but we are not authorized right now. 00:54:26 – 00:54:44 Arthur It’s a big disappointment because I came here to give my hand to the conservation. And now because of some administration, I’m not allowed. 00:54:46 – 00:54:55 Arthur This is really something which is de-motivating, not only me, but also the rest of the team, which are young people, young activists who want to change the country in a good way. 00:55:02 – 00:55:13 Arthur Since we are not being able to go to the field, our impact is very limited. And we just have to focus on training 00:55:24 – 00:55:30 -- some dog training verite/ sound up interspersed here – not subtitled Arthur The organic matter which we use for sniffing are either our seizures we keep for training purposes or we have it borrowed from the Ministry itself. 00:55:34 – 00:55:44 Arthur The sniffer dog work can be a smooth and effective method how to tackle this wildlife trade. But, we are facing a big bureaucratic burden. 00:56;05 – 00:56:12 Arthur It’s just a question of one signature and one stamp. But this can take ages in Congo. 00:56:17 - 00:56:23 Arthur And I can only guess if it’s because of some of the officials are corrupt 00:56:24 – 00:56:25 Arthur If you are working in the nonprofit sector and it is against your moral belief to pay all these bribes, it’s very difficult to convince the people to raise their hands for the conservation even if there is no personal profit for them. 00:56:43 – 00:56:55 Arthur You can have enemies within people which should be your closest partners. 00:56:56 – 00:56:59 Arthur Hello – we can take it now? 00:57:07 – 00:57:11 Arthur This particular period is a very critical moment for the whole dog program in terms of logistics, financing and the administrative embedding of it into the Congolese infrastructures 00:57:12 – 00:57:26 Arthur I’m optimistic… still keep the hope that it will be good very soon. But it’s a challenging time and it requires a lot of patience and goodwill just to forget the problems and focus on the advances. 00:57:47 – 00:58:04 CLEMENT SCENE 3 Quick verité scene of clement pointing out elephant tracks Here this is a fresh elephant footprint. Probably one male elephant, crossing the road, from this side to Madjouama clearings – it’s about 1.5 kilometers from here. It’s just one individual. It’s a good sign – probably can just find the individual on the clearing. 00:58:39 - 00:59:07 Assistant: It was right there! Clement: They went around our path. Assistant: I saw them at the edge of the water 00:59:50 – 00:59:54 Clement I hope during the night time they will come again 00:59:56 - 01:00:01 Clement Recently In the forest, it's been difficult to see the elephants Poaching has increased near the clearings 01:00:42 – 01:00:53 Clement When poaching is rampant, the elephant’s behavior changes instinctively 01:00:57 – 01:01:02 Clement They are timid and are becoming more nocturnal. They’re scared that during the day the poachers will get them. 01:01:05 – 01:01:19 Clement: They need to make sure they are not in danger. 01:03:27 – 01:03:32 Clement whisp ENGLISH: And with this periscope they need to smell the area. 01:03:35 – 01:03:41 Clement ENGLISH Elephants vision is horrible but the smell is very important. 01:03:47 – 01:03:55 Clement ENGLISH They can dig deep. The salt is about more than two meters deep. When they are moving their ears means they are satisfied. They are happy to find salt. 01:04:12 - 01:04:41 Clement English: Looks like less than one year old. It’s amazing! 01:05:00 – 01:05:05 Clement English: Yeah, the baby is suckling from his ma. 01:05:16 – 01:05:19 Clement English: The child follows everything the mother is doing. 01:05:39 – 01:05:42 Clement English: The younger need to eat salt from the mouth of their mother because their mother has more chance to reach mineral salts. 01:05:56 – 01:06:11 Clement: He would love to eat from the mother’s trunk. 01:06:28 – 01:06:31 Clement: The mothers stay together to raise their babies. It’s like an associated family. 01:06:49 – 01:06:59 SIDONIE SCENE 3 Sidonie It's been 5 months since I've been the Section Chief of Zoulabot. 01:07:48 – 01:07:52 Sidonie It's a promotion. Even if the pay doesn't match, it's a great promotion to be the one in charge. 01:07:56 – 01:08:01 Sidonie Here, I'm the eyes for the Park Director. I am in charge of planning forest missions, I write reports and send them. And let the director know how things are on this end. 01:08:07 – 01:08:17 Sidonie With this promotion, I am a little far from my family. 01:08:26 – 01:08:30 It's disruptive because my kids can’t come with me. But when I come back we’re very happy to spend time together. 01:08:57 – 01:09:04 SIdonie You have to share. Look what I've brought you … cookies and candy. Dad was forgotten? Oh, you’re fine. 01:09:37 - 01:09:52 Sidonie I'm concerned and worried.. because its hard to balance my home and work life. 01:10:05 – 01:10:12 Sidonie Main I hope that as I’m getting older, that my kids will do the same work as I do and go further. 01:10:15 – 01:10:25 JEAN PAUL SCENE 2 Jean Paul We have an association here. With the name ‘ABRAT’ an association for the social conversion for poachers. 01:10:58 - 01:11:04 ONSCREEN TEXT: “ABRAT” IS A GROUP OF FORMER POACHERS WHO NOW ADVOCATE AGAINST POACHING. AFTER RUNNING OUT OF FUNDING LAST YEAR, JEAN PAUL IS HOLDING A MEETING WITH OTHER LEADERS TO DISCUSS HOW TO RE-LAUNCH THEIR EFFORTS. 01:11:06- 01;11:22 JEAN PAUL When we started ABRAT in 2014, we were active... we kept an eye on the top poachers. They were afraid of us. 01;11;23 – 01:11:30 JEAN NESTOR After our awareness campaign in the villages, poaching was reduced in a way that was unprecedented. JEAN PAUL Unprecedented. 01:11:31 – 01:11:41 Jean Paul While before the poaching had decreased, now it's on the rise again. 01:11:42 – 01:11:46 JEAN NESTOR What causes this situation? That's the big question. JEAN PAUL Unemployment. JEAN NESTOR Unemployment. The people are under stress. They don’t have anything to do. 01:11:47 – 01:11:56 Jean Nestor We need to pick up from where we left off...from where we fell short. When we were young, the forest's fauna wasn't as decimated as it is today. 01:11:57 – 01:12:11 JEAN PAUL No! It's our shame. 01:12;12 – 01:12:14 JEAN NESTOR – Something I admire was our efforts as community organizers. JEAN PAUL From village to village. JEAN NESTOR Exactly! Because we’d deterred the poachers that we knew personally. 01:12:20 – 01:12:36 JEAN PAUL The elephants are most endangered because of the market... BOTH .. because of the price! 01:12:38 – 01:12:43 JEAN NESTOR For 3 kilos (of ivory), a massive body of flesh is killed, a life is made extinct 01:12:44 – 01:12:49 JEAN PAUL The adult males are gone so now they're coming for the females.. 01:12:49 – 01:12:52 JEAN NESTOR If the female was still feeding a calf, it will be an orphan. 01:12:52 – 01:12:59 Jean Paul - We have to push our children to attend (school and study) so they don't end up like us. We didn't get schooling and we became poachers. 01:13:02 – 01:13:10 Jean Nestor We've agreed that everyone must do their part, So that everyone can understand that the survival of the forest’s fauna isn’t in the interest of just one person, but in everyone’s interest. 01:13:11 – 01:13:29 JEAN NESTOR God is with us. JEAN PAUL God is with us. It's going to work. 01:13:30 – 01:13:33 CLEMENT SCENE 4 Clement I love all the elephants. They've become a part of my life. I love my work. 01:14:22 – 01:14:29 Clement The elephants are more social, to help babies adapt and understand the world 01:14:35 – 01:14:42 Clement They have the ability to remember where they've been.. Females make long marches with the calves to show them where the resources are: where to find the clearings, where to drink water. It's all memorized. 01:14:47 - 01:15:07 Clement In groups there is a leader. In the elephant world, it's not the males. It's the matriarch. She directs the kids on how to carry oneself. 01:15:14 - 01:15:40 Clement When a female is ready to have a calf, she sends an audible signal saying “I'm ready to give birth.” The other elephants gather around to assist her It’s like a human at a hospital; midwives are there to help. 01:15:49 - 01:16:20 Clement Gestation is 22 months. It takes almost 2 years to have a newborn elephant. Calves have to be breastfed for 4 years. 01:16:23 - 01:16:48 Clement It takes the elephants a lot of time to reach a minimum population that is safe. 01:17:01 – 01:17:11 Clement (English) This is an elephant carcass. This elephant was killed by poacher, and we can see the sign of bullet in the skull of elephant. We can just see, in the skull, how they use machete to remove tusks. It's just a young male, about 12 years. This elephant was killed about five months ago. 01:17:50 - 01:18:23 Clement The poaching of elephants for ivory but in some isolated areas, or where residents lack food, elephants are also killed for meat, but mainly for ivory. 01:18:28 – 01:18:45 Clement (English) We saw one carcass of elephant 100 meter from here. And they built their camp here to smoke elephant meat. After, poachers bring all meat from here to the village to sell. 01:18:51 – 01:19:05 Clement Another elephant come back, and try to break everything and then he left just dung pile. And you can just see the prints of elephant. 01;19:07 – 01:19:16 Clement All elephants have intelligence. I guess, they saw first the carcass and they try to follow and came here - oh, they put a fire here to smoke another elephant. It’s why the elephants came and destroyed the poachers camp. Try to say to the poacher, “Don’t do that again because we are angry now.” 01:19:20 - 01:19:42 Clement (English) They use bike from the village into here, and its easy to bring all meat to the village 01:19:47 – 01:19:56 Clement (French) Mainly by the accessibility from roads made by the logging companies. Logging companies build roads from the cities and villages through the forest. When the logging companies leave , they don't block the roads or destroy the bridges. Poachers use the same roads with their mopeds. We can see them when we travel to the clearings. 01:20:02 - 01:20:36 Clement Therefore, logging companies are the biggest menace in allowing poachers access to the clearings. 01:20:39 – 01:20:48 Clement But we can’t stop them, due to our location’s status. We want to be legally recognized as a park. If we don’t have that status, eco guards can’t arrest anyone. 01:20:50 - 01:21:06 Clement It's frustrating for us, and we can’t do anything. We want the protected area to be created. That way the poachers won’t constantly attack the clearings. 01:21:11 – 01:21:26 Clement I am discouraged by the situation but that will not stop me from fighting. We are determined to protect the elephants. 01:21:33 – 01:21:43 LAGA SCENE 2 with ARTHUR ONSCREEN TEXT: LAGA IS WORKING ON A NEW CASE INVOLVING AN IVORY TRAFFICKING NETWORK IN SOUTHEAST CAMEROON. 01:22:03 - 01:22:10 ERIC LOWER THIRD reminder: Eric LAGA Deputy Director 01:22:11 – 01:22:15 Eric This long going operation, concerns some big time ivory traffickers. And we are getting the conclusions stages of the operation and hopefully, we net the guys. 01:22:20 – 01:22:31 Eric We have built in a system where we kind of exchange information and skills. As wildlife moves, across boundaries, so do our investigators cross the boundaries to be able to effectively track the traffickers. 01:22:31 - 01:22:47 Eric The guy who was actually doing the investigation concerning this operation is from Congo. 01:22:48 - 01:22:53 Arthur When I was traveling on my bicycle through all these Central African countries, in Northern Cameroon I met one old aged dealer… When I realized that he died because of his age, two years after, I approached his family again with a good alibi saying that I was his close business partner. So, that's how I really gained confidence of the whole network, which was gathered around the old man. 01:22:58 - 01:23:25 Arthur It's like a tip of a big criminal network and just in one video, which I got three days ago, through the trafficker, we can see eight people in one room, along with few dozens of kilo of ivory. We are going to focus our attention to the head of this syndicate 01:23:29 - 01:23:52 Arthur A very important thing is that he’s a contractor of the UN working in those refugee camps on the Cameroon border. And at the same time, by constructing some facilities in the camp, he’s gathering ivory and transporting it back to Cameroon and Nigeria. 01:23:55 - 01:24:14 Arthur Through some instant messaging, I'm getting real-time pictures of some ivory samples on the scale. Regarding the shade, the color and everything, it should be the forest elephant’s ivory. We are really sure that this group is big, given the amount of ivory, the quality of the ivory. 01:24:19 - 01:24:36 GO INTO PLANNING MEETING: Arrey, Aimé, Thomas, Arthur, Ekané, and Eric sitting in room discussing plans. 01:24:37 ARREY The way we present ourselves in front of a dealer is very important. Make an impression as soon as you arrive. They are guys with means. He looks at you. He evaluates you. 01:24:38 – 01:24:50 ERIC What we’re saying is that the car is important for the operation. To avoid the problem: if the scenario changes, we’re can change quickly. 01:24:51 – 01:25:02 Arthur: I think the plan should be to have him bring the ivory with him to meet me. Somewhere away from his hometown, where we can perform the arrest. 01:25;04 – 01:25:16 Arthur it’s always better that the dealers are not in their domicile (home) environment you know. They don’t feel so safe, and they can have so many spies around. 01:25:21 – 01:25:30 Arthur (seeing funny newspaper article) What? What is this? What is this, this is a miracle.. Wait I have to – I will read it in the bus. What is this. Ok good, now I can go. 01:25:45 – 01:26:09 TRANSITION -him walking out of LAGA, walking down street with suitcase 01:26:15 Secret video of meeting with ivory dealer 01:26:41 IBRAHIM I’m Ibrahim mohamadou ARTHUR -Thanks. I’m Joseph Battu IBRAHIM -Ok, Mr. joseph. What religion are you? Catholic? ARTHUR - I’m catholic IBRAHIM - You’re catholic? Can you swear to god that you’re not here to spy on us? ARTHUR - Catholics, we do it like this. Together? IBRAHIM - Yeah. ARTHUR - (praying): Ok. 01:27:06 – 01:27:34 (01:27:34) IBRAHIM -I saw a documentary on TV. There was a white guy. Who was traveling, spying on the ivory traffickers. He put devices inside.. to spy and find the vendors ARTHUR -There’s a lot.. IBRAHIM - we have a lot of problems. If I’d bring the product you might call the police to arrest me. I don’t want that. If you earn my trust, we’ll work together. ARTHUR - if this works, we can continue to work together… 01:27:35 – 01:28:00 IBRAHIM I’m an entrepreneur. In business, I have construction sites. Actually, I have construction sites in the refugee camps. We’ll take the ivory directly from there. 01:28:01 - 01:28:12 ARTHUR We’re looking for people now. So we can export from Africa. IBRAHIM - Not a problem. I have men at the airport. We can send it during the night. No problem. If you have someone in Europe, that can pick it up. If you want it to leave by boat, I have someone. But my problem is to be able to trust. 01;28:13 - 01:28:36 ARTHUR We’re on the same page now. You’re looking for trust. Me too. IBRAHIM Exactly. That’s why I had you swear to god. That you weren’t a spy. ARTHUR - We can do a little transaction like this. To see if it works out IBRAHIM - yes 01:28:37 – 01:28:49 IBRAHIM - How many kilos do you want? ARTHUR - Do you have the same.. IBRAHIM - 100? ARTHUR - Is that possible? IBRAHIM - Yeah, that’s possible. 100 kilos. ARTHUR - You can move all that? IBRAHIM - everything ARTHUR - and you can bring it to the meeting point IBRAHIM - but with you too! ARTHUR - Let me.. we can go downstairs. 01:28:50 - 01:29:05 (01:29:05) ONCREEN TEXT: THOMAS AND HIS TEAM GO TO THE MEETING POINT, WHERE THE ARREST IS SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE. 01:29:20 Eric Ok. Good luck! 01:29:29 – 01:29:30 Eric The guys involved are big time ivory traffickers and very experienced. They are not only experienced in trafficking, they are also experienced in the fact that we do exist and they know how we function. So, we change tactics all the time to get a step ahead of them. That's why before we do the final arrest we are not always sure about the outcome. 01;29:35 - 01:29:58 ONCREEN TEXT: WHILE THOMAS IS ON THE WAY, ARTHUR CALLS WITH SOME BAD NEWS. 01:30:04 Arthur When I entered the car, the ivory wasn’t there. 01:30:14 – 01:30:16 Thomas The dealer explained that he wanted to see the money first, before getting the product. The objective is to arrest him with the products. If there is no product, that becomes complicated. 01:30:18 - 01:30:32 Arthur We cannot arrest them only based on the picture of ivory, picture of the man - a video when he’s talking about his activities … but this is not a tangible evidence on the Court. So we really need to catch him red handed, even if there is one tusk. 01:30:34 – 01:30:47 Arthur The result of the past day is disappointing, but it's not devastating for us, because it's not rare a situation that we fail to make the operation at the time we want, or how we want, or generally it can fail. This didn't fail entirely. Like, we think that we didn't break our cover. We didn't alert the people that something was going to happen. So we are like.. I consider it more a neutral result, not as a loss. I know some of the names. I filmed some of the faces. 01:31:04 - 01:31:33 Arthur The idea is that uh he will again be willing to present us some ivory but we have to be prepared. We have to have another strategy. 01:31:40 – 01:31:48 SIDONIE SCENE 4 Sidonie Last year, we patrolled the forest unarmed. Eight months ago, we finally received permission to carry weapons. Now, we feel safe. We feel we can now better guard our protected areas 01:32:15 - 01:31:37 Sidonie: Look. Tracks. Elephant tracks 01:33:08 – 01:33:14 (CU shot of a cut branch // Sidonie signaling her team) 01:33:42 Sidonie A moment ago, we noticed that poachers were here yesterday or this morning… Those are fresh cuts made the poachers. You see? When we walk through the forest and we see fresh cuts like these, it means there are poachers nearby. We have be careful. 01:33:56 - 01:34:25 Sidonie I am here at one of the national park clearings I haven't been able to observe anything but I saw fresh tracks of the poachers. And, it's because of that, that this morning everything is quiet. That’s why the animals have shied away. 01:35:03 – 01:35:16 Sidonie They're reacting to poaching pressures and are trying to migrate elsewhere.. where they'll be safer. 01:35:28 – 01:35:38 Sidonie I found the carcass of a baby elephant. It didn't even have tusks or anything. It looks like it was a female. It's very sad.. 01:35:55 – 01:36:11 Sidonie That's the shoulder blade. It's still very small. You know when it's an adult, it's so big. This was a baby that was still nursing. 01:36:13 – 01:36:25 (Group Discussion/Briefing) Sidonie You well know that the clues of yesterday are unmistakable.. these poachers are not too far from us, they’re nearby. Réné At the end of our patrol, we saw upon a large path, particularly well traveled, We tried to record in from our GPS. We’ll continue this afternoon. 01:37:32 - 01:37:57 Prayer circle led by Alfred Alfred In the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit. Amen. Lord, the creator God, we thank you for keeping us safe during our stay. We thank you because we have put ourselves in your hands. In the sainted name of your beloved son, Christ, our Lord, we prayed to you. Amen. CHORUS OF VOICES Amen. 01:38:00 - 01:38:25 Sidonie The poachers that come here move around quite a bit. They stay awake night and day. 01:38:29 – 01:38:36 Sidonie So, when you're in pursuit of a poacher, there's some fear. But it's war; I must win. 01:38:40 – 01:38:52 (Entering camp) Sidonie Apparently, it's an abandoned camp. Igor They've already left.. 01:39:29 - 01:39:41 Sidonie That's for carrying the ivory tusks. Food and tusks. 01:39:52 – 01:39:59 Sidonie This is a camp of at least 15 people. 15. ..Because, here was where they rested. This is where they ate... the chair.. the fire pit was there. This was a large bed for eight people. The food was over there with the contraband. You can even see that they wrote their names everywhere. 01:40:07 - 01:40:51 Sidonie Since I've started patrolling the forest, I never seen a poaching camp this big: 01:40:54 – 01:40:56 Sidonie This is a village. Igor This is a village. 01:40:57 - 01:41:00 Sidonie When I find a poacher's camp, I destroy it. It’s to discourage them. 01:41:04 – 01:41:12 Igor If we came unarmed like before..all we could do is pray. They’d kill us. Sidonie They’d have gotten us. Because they come with AK 47’s. When you see a well-made camp, like this, often they come with weapons of war. 01:41:13 – 01:41:29 Sidonie You see why the animals no longer come to these clearings. 01:41:41 – 01:41:46 Sidonie If a park doesn’t have any elephants remaining... I don't know what my purpose would be. 01:41:51 – 01:42:04 FILM OUTROS – CHARACTER WRAP UP ARTHUR FINAL THOUGHTS: When people ask me why am I personally so concerned about the elephants; I always keep in mind - “When, if not now? Who, if not we?” I know that not everybody should go to Africa to protect elephants but it was my path which I’ve chosen and I think it is the right decision. 01:42:22 – 01:42:42 ONSCREEN TEXT: ARTHUR STRUGGLED FOR OVER TWO YEARS TO GET GOVERNMENT PERMISSION TO CONTINUE HIS SNIFFER DOG OPERATIONS FINALLY, THROUGH COLLABORATION WITH OTHER CONSERVATION GROUPS IN CONGO, HIS DOG TEAMS ARE BACK IN ACTION ACROSS THE COUNTRY. 01:42:46 - 01:43:09 CLEMENT FINAL THOUGHTS: A long road of 1,000 kilometers begins with the first step. You must take the first step, and endure the challenges and you’ll reach your goal. 01:43:17 – 01:43:29 ONSCREEN TEXT: IN LATE 2018, CLEMENT’S RESEARCH AREA WAS FINALLY DESIGNATED A NATIONAL PARK WITH PROTECTION STATUS HE CONTINUES TO MONITOR THE FOREST ELEPHANT CLEARINGS… BUT IS STILL FINDING CARCASSES OF POACHING VICTIMS 01:43:33 - 01:43:50 - 01:44:01 ONSCREEN TEXT: JEAN PAUL REMAINS AN ANTI-POACHING ADVOCATE IN HIS DISTRICT 01:44:18 - 01:44:22 JEAN PAUL FINAL THOUGHTS : I have a lot of regrets, for my children’s future. When my kids are grow up, they won’t see elephants with their eyes . They’re going to disappear.. That breaks my heart 01:44:29 – 01:44:44 ONSCREEN TEXT: JEAN PAUL’S WIFE RECENTLY PASSED AWAY 01:44:47 – 01:44:51 ERIC FINAL THOUGHTS You need a lot of passion in doing wildlife law enforcement. If you are not passionate, you may not be able to withstand the hazards of the profession. On a more philosophical level, if you don’t do it, who is going to do it? Each one of us has a duty here on earth. If you abdicate your duty, you are failing mankind. You are failing the human race. 01:45:02 - 01:45:34 ONSCREEN TEXT: LAGA CONTINUES TO ARREST IVORY TRAFFICKERS THROUGHOUT CAMEROON. 01:45:38 – 01:45:44 ONSCREEN TEXT: SIDONIE IS STILL PATROLLING NKI PARK, SEARCHING FOR POACHERS… AND FOR SIGNS OF FOREST ELEPHANTS 01:46:10 - 01:46:16 SIDONIE FINAL THOUGHTS I would like the elephants to return to the clearings. Because, the clearings are their home, where they live. I am going to fight to preserve these elephants that remain in the forest. 01:46:23 – 01:46:38 FILM CREDITS 01:47:08 – 01:49:29
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