By Alex Strachan
In a time of civil strife — and worse — in places like Afghanistan, Libya, South Sudan and Syria, the title Battleground: Rhino Wars might like so much hyperbole. Bogus, even.
The three-part docuseries, which makes its Canadian debut Thursday after a brief, controversial run earlier this year on the Animal Planet channel in the U.S., is by turns harrowing, violent and, at one moment in particular, unspeakably sad.
Rhino poaching is out of control at the moment, thanks to the usual suspects. (Hint: The primary market for rhino horn, as it is for ivory, is not Sweden or Belgium. Or Canada. Or anywhere in Africa, for that matter.)
Battleground: Rhino Wars may be about saving rhinos, but it isn’t your typical conservation-minded public-service program. It’s about using any means possible — including strong-arm tactics, force and shoot-to-kill tactics — to prevent the killing of rhinos, a critically endangered species and one of the last surviving mammals from a prehistoric age dominated by reptiles and amphibians. Rhino Wars is about taking direct action against a moral outrage, not just sitting there and talking about it. Rhino Wars has about as much in common with your typical nature program as Whale Wars had to a Sea World instructional video. More....