Earth Angels Destination Change documents Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Rhinos, in Kenya, East Africa.
Earth Angels aim in producing this documentary is to draw global awareness to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos, and a sanctuary for over 110 critically endangered black rhinos. While Earth Angels will make our own donations during the making of this film, our wish is to also make organizations and individuals around the world aware that they too can help by simply making donations to support the armed rangers which directly contributes to their security efforts. It costs Ol Pejeta around $850 per rhino, per month to keep our black, white and northern white rhino safe. Ol Pejeta's dedicated armed ranger teams work long hours, often putting their lives on the line for the animals they have come to know and respect. They need all the help they can get in the front line against poaching.
Earth Angels will tell the following story through narrative exposition, real life events which combine actuality with explanation and commentary. We'll also conduct interviews with key personnel, along with reenactments where necessary and use archival footage to show historical events. 100% of the proceeds made from the distribution of this film will also be donated to Ol Pejeta Conservancy to support the armed rangers.
PART 1 - INTRODUCTION
Ol Pejeta is home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos, and a sanctuary for over 110 critically endangered black rhinos. The Conservancy employs highly trained rhino protection squads, partners with international veterinary experts and ensures data is gathered regularly on each individual animal. Steps like these ensure we remain a role model for rhino conservation in East Africa.
PART 2 - SAFEGUARDING THE VULNERABLE
The black rhino (Diceros bicornis) is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to IUCN, black rhino population declined by a staggering 97.6% from 1960 to the 1990’s, primarily as a result of poaching. In 1993, there were estimated to be just 2,300 black rhino living in the wild, but thanks to conservation efforts across Kenya and southern Africa, populations have risen to over 5,000 today. Ol Pejeta hope to keep this number rising. With a population of over 110 black rhinos, Ol Pejeta is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.
PART 3 - FANCY SELLING YOUR FINGERNAILS?
When early settlers came to eastern and southern Africa, rhino were hunted for sport and meat. Today the demand comes from Asia and the Middle East, where rhino horn is falsely considered to have medicinal properties and is used to make ornamental dagger handles. A kilo of rhino horn can fetch up to $60,000 on the black market. Ironically, rhino horn is just made of the same substance as human fingernails – keratin.
PART 4 - RANGERS / KPR
Ol Pejeta has two wildlife protection squads – The NPR team and the Rhino Patrol Unit. The two operate independently, but cooperate during key operations, and share intelligence.
NPR stands for National Police Reservists. Rangers with NPR status are allowed to carry government-authorised firearms, after undergoing paramilitary training. Ol Pejeta’s NPR team are on the front line against poachers, but while their primary focus in wildlife protection, they also play a crucial role in assisting local communities and police with livestock theft, or human/wildlife conflict situations. The NPR team also operates a full-fledged dog unit; with highly trained dog handlers who manage attack and sniffer dogs.
The Rhino Protection Unit (RPU) specializes in wildlife monitoring and general security surveillance. They are primarily deployed to track and record rhino sightings. For peace of mind, the RPU have a rule that every black rhino on Ol Pejeta must be sighted at least once every three days. The Unit cover vast areas of the Conservancy, and are often the first people to detect any security threats, fence breakages or wildlife in distress.
Ol Pejeta’s security teams have earned a reputation in Laikipia as being highly efficient teams with great morale. Under their watch, the number of black rhino increased from 86 in 2011 to 113 today. Relations with surrounding communities are strong – insecurity incidents in local towns have dropped significantly with help from Ol Pejeta NPR, and this has created a strong relationship between Ol Pejeta and its neighbours.
This relationship also allows the NPR and the RPU teams to develop a solid network of intelligence sources. They also maintain good partnerships with local government authorities, enabling effective intelligence sharing for more efficient security in the region.
PART 5 - K9 UNIT
The illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2013, the Government of Kenya passed a new Wildlife Act, which promised stricter penalties for those involved in the trade, in particular ivory and rhino horn smugglers. Kenya’s tough attitude towards wildlife crime is reflected in Ol Pejeta’s anti-poaching units – who are at the front line of wildlife protection.
PART 6 - HELPING BLACK RHINO POPULATIONS INCREASE
On-going efforts by Ol Pejeta and similar organisations across Africa are slowly but surely helping black rhino populations increase. Ol Pejeta had 20 black rhino in 1993, and successful breeding combined with tough anti-poaching operations allowed this number to flourish to over 110 today.
Supporting an armed ranger means you are directly contributing to our security efforts. It costs us around $850 per rhino, per month to keep our black, white and northern white rhino safe. Our dedicated armed ranger teams work long hours, often putting their lives on the line for the animals they have come to know and respect. They need all the help they can get in the front line against poaching.
CREATIVE TEAM ATTACHED
The independently operated multi award winning filmmakers, talent and crew Earth Angels Agency and MAAT have partnered with, have created films that have been nominated for Academy Awards, won multiple Emmys, have been a huge force in the largest film festival market including top awards at Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and Toronto. Their films and TV projects have screened in theatres, television networks, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, globally as well as at The White House, The Pentagon, The Vatican, DAVOS and universities around the world.