Tom Hardy’s Poaching Wars will be coming to ITV next week as the Bane star in The Dark Knight Rises takes to the jungles, savanna and Serengeti of Africa in a bid to highlight the plight of some of the continents most endangered animals. With many animals teetering on the brink of extinction, Tom has spent the last year or so away from the limelight and red carpets to look at why things have gotten so bad and what more can be done to protect Africa’s wildlife.
The first of the two 1 hour long exposés will be airing on ITV on Thursday the 22nd August 2013 at 9pm, with the second episode going out the following week. Co-produced by Burning Bright and Hardy, Son & Baker, it will be a hard hitting insight into the barbarity, desperation, criminal organisation and moronic market creation of poaching in Africa.
In a statement through ITV, Hardy (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Mad Max Fury Road) comments on the documentary, “Like most of us I have a love for Africa’s magnificent animals. As a result I find it hard to stomach the poaching crisis sweeping the continent and pushing these amazing animals to the edge of extinction. Without doubt the rhino and the elephant are facing extinction well within our lifetime and the war on poaching is being lost. I’m making these documentaries because it’s something practical I can do to ask some questions that need to be asked.”
The magnitude of the poaching crisis is highlighted by the sheer volume of elephants and rhino’s that are slaughtered every year by professional poaching outfits. In Hardy’s first destination, South Africa, he discovers that just last year more than 600 rhino’s were shot dead in the country as a result of the illegal poaching industry.
There he meets conservationist, Miles Lappeman, who had spend the last two decades trying to redress the declining rhino numbers with his own breeding plan. However, Tom finds out that the years of effort to create a small herd of 22 animals was nearly halved last November as poachers broke through the security of his estate and shot 8 rhino with sharpshooter precision.
The documentary takes Tom to the Kruger national park to meets some of the poaching security teams that work to protect wildlife reserves – what’s incredible is the danger the security teams are in as poachers turn up with assault rifles just in case they’re rumbled by the guards. He’ll also be getting a taste of the training the guards have to undertake to ensure the safety of the wildlife as he goes into the brush on an exercise mission.
It’s a mammoth journey throughout the two episodes that includes the international organised criminal gangs in Johannesburg and their rhino horn smuggling operations sending the rare materials to the Asian markets that fund the illegal industry. Hardy also gets to see a few ideas to safeguard the rhino population in practice, including a successful 850 strong population of rhinos that have all been dehorned, taking away the one thing the poachers ordinarily kill for.
The epic documentary takes Tom into South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and right up to border of Tanzania and Kenya in his bid to lift the lid on the poaching war that rages on while the rest of us carry on with our normal days.
It’s pretty impressive that as well as helping to make the 2009 remake of Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy so cool, being one of the hardest Batman baddies of all time in The Dark Knight Rises and his upcoming reprisal of Mad Max, Tom Hardy has also got time for the bigger issues in life. If you want to find out more about what you can do to step the industries ongoing massacre, try visiting the Born Free anti poaching initiative, Save the Elephants, or Save the Rhino.