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Virunga-the documentary

Emmanuel de Merode gorilla Virunga

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#1 optig

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 10:21 AM

I'm urging all safaritalkers to please watch this film because it's a real eye opener. it doesn't matter what you've read or heard about Virunga National Park you have to see it. It's unlike any documentary I've ever seen before because it's so full of suspense. Let it be said that other than Rod Cassidy whom I was fortunate enough to meet here in Nairobi,there's nobody other than Emmanuel  de Merode whom I'd like to meet more. He's a true hero to the cause of conservation,as of course are the over 140 rangers who have lost their lives fighting poachers. 

 

As this film makes clear not all the villains are black and not all the good guys are white. True,the poachers and M.N.R guerrillas are a major threat to Virunga National Park's wildlife,but the British oil Soco International arguably the worst threat of all. The British and French thugs who are responsible for security are truly despicable characters. They refer to the gorillas as big monkeys, They have no respect for the Congolese people who they see as subhuman,and lacking in all human sentiment. The oil company thinks that they can bribe everyone,and drill  oil within the National Park despite the fact that it's a Unesco World heritage Site. 

 

One marvels at the courage and dedication not only of Emmanuel de Merode,but also the Congolese game rangers. When the M.N.R . rebels approach armed with tanks,rocket launchers, and artillery; the rangers armed only with their automatic weapons are prepared to fight them to the end. It's incredibly exciting. 

 

I have to say that I marveled at the love that the caretakers have for the gorillas. Andre Bauma is particularly impressive.They regard the gorillas as family. One has to think who is human the Congolese game wardens or Soco's cowardly thugs? 

 

The French investigative journalist Melanie Gouby is also heroic. She goes undercover and risks her life repeatedly not just to get a story;she is truly interested in saving Virunga National Park.

 

This exceptionally fine film is only available on Netflix. Everyone should watch it even if they don't share our interest in wildlife;it's a shocking thriller.

 


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#2 RichB

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 09:26 PM

Its frustrating to see that this movie is only available on Netflix, which alot of people Im sure including myself dont have.



#3 Ben mosquito

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 12:47 PM

Its frustrating to see that this movie is only available on Netflix, which alot of people Im sure including myself dont have.

 

There is a one month free trial in some countries. It's a must-see movie.


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#4 optig

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 01:07 PM

I saw it on my one month free trial. I also Blood Lions on Netflix, as well as some sensational wildlife documentaries.



#5 optig

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 09:20 AM

http://edition.cnn.c...-dam/index.html

This recent development gives me a feeling of  optimism despite the latest round of violence in the Eastern Congo. It's so important to the local community that Virunga National Park become a source of sustainable power, employment,and tourism. After having met Rod Cassidy there's nobody that I'd like to meet more than Emil de Merode. He should be regarded as a true hero not only to the cause of conservation,but also to the Congo. I especially enjoyed seeing this latest initiative after having seen the documentary: Virunga.  I think it's safe to say that for so many of us the Eastern part of the DRC is high on the list of dream locations which we would love to visit. I know that I'll get there in combination with Rwanda. We also need to consider that it's a short transfer from Rwanda to the DRC. It's safe to say that nobody will ever go on too many gorilla treks or chimp treks. Furthermore,as we all know there is so much more to see in the Eastern Congo.


Edited by optig, 13 December 2016 - 09:20 AM.


#6 GBE

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 10:09 AM

In addition to Virunga, the movie, The Ivory Game is another documentary on Netflix worthy of watching.  Similar in it's approach, The Ivory Game is a combination of direct interviews and narrative interspersed with undercover investigative journalism: These are not dramatizations, these are real life... and death.  The subject matter in both of these documentaries is very interesting, provocative, and arguably of global importance.  But that doesn't mean many people will sit through such a documentary.  The real life suspense, every bit as compelling as Hollywood's best suspense and even action movies, increases the viewing audience and creates the emotional connections to watch the entire documentary.  Regardless of ones perspective, these documentaries will illicit emotional investment that, for some, may be lasting and instigate action.


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#7 optig

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 11:04 AM

I have to say that believe it or not the hunters not only want the ivory trade to continue,they want the US to open up it's market. They want ivory sales to continue from culled elephants, those that have died from natural causes,those that have microchips in their tusks, and of course hunted trophies. They continue to claim that elephant populations would be better off with sustained wildlife conservation which of course means continued hunting of elephants even in areas where their populations have been decimated by poaching. It doesn't matter if their so called conservation efforts have failed to deliver any results they'll argue that they aren't the problem it's a given government's corruption. They even claim that the largest burning of ivory in history which as you know took place will only lead to more poaching due to the fact that it will drive up the price of ivory without cutting the demand. 

 

I have to say that after living in Nairobi for four years I'm happy to say that I've never met a single Kenyan who wants to reintroduce big game hunting;In fact Kenyans are quite proud of the fact that it was eliminated decades ago. While all of us  will agree that perhaps the greatest threat to wildlife is the conflict between humans their livestock,and wildlife; nobody sees hunting as an answer. This is a problem which has existed since wildlife and humans have been sharing the same space. The biggest problem in Kenya is that so much of the most  productive land in the hands of politicians who don't want to use it for anything useful. 

 

After watching the Ivory Game I realize that more than ever the 1989 ban on ivory has to be enforced. The loopholes simply have to be closed. As I have learned very well, ivory from poached elephants very often comes from elephants which were supposedly from before 1989. Yes even I  can understand that there should be hunting allowed in areas where there is simply isn't an alternative,this is part of the reason that hunting has continued to prosper because tourism took a major hit following Old Bob's land grabs,and tourists have simply been scared off. As I've said before I believe that things will eventually improve.



#8 optig

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 02:08 PM

http://worldanimalne...rs-killed-congo

 

It's shocking that two more rangers and five  soldiers are killed defending such an amazing destination.These men are all unsung heroes. Here is yet more evidence of why I'm going to wait until some time after elections until I decide to visit Virunga. One shouldn't visit a place where they don't feel safe. 



#9 AKR1

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 02:33 PM

The Rangers protecting Wildlife all over Africa are the forgotten story.



#10 optig

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

www.cnn.com/2017/04/23/africa/goldman-prize-rodrigue-katembo/

  1.  
I'm delighted that this man got the recognition that he deserves. He was without a doubt one of the great unsung heroes of wildlife conservation. There are so many others who deserve to be honored. 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Emmanuel de Merode, gorilla, Virunga


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