“The Last Animals”: a journey to the frontlines of extinction

The Economist
IN VIETNAM, Kate Brooks is posing as a tourist looking to buy wildlife products. On the dealer’s counter there is a poster featuring a cartoon of a baby rhino, part of a campaign to spread awareness about the animals’ looming extinction. Oblivious to the irony, the salesman presents pictures of his rhino-horn bracelets on his phone, placing the device atop the poster.

Ivory trafficking: Three massive cartels exposed by elephant tusk DNA testing

Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of ivory is illegally trafficked across the globe: one thread of a web of international crime that ties together narcotics, guns and even murder. As well as tens of thousands of elephants slaughtered for their tusks, the illegal ivory trade kills scores of wildlife rangers every year.

Facebook’s (& Zuckerberg’s) Ivory Problem, Explained

As the Senate’s joint Judiciary and Commerce hearing continues on Capitol Hill, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about ivory markets apparently operating on the massive social media network. On Wednesday, Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter grilled Zuckerberg, saying, “Did you know that there are some [environmental] conservation groups that assert that there’s so much ivory being sold on Facebook that it is literally contributing to the extinction of the elephant species?”

‘The Quiet Man,’ Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’

Washington Post
If you’ve got a friend who whines about not liking Westerns, you should seriously consider not being that person’s friend anymore. Second, if you’ve got a friend who doesn’t like John Wayne because “he only does Westerns,” have we got a treat for you! This weekend the AFI Silver is showing “The Quiet Man,” a very funny comedy starring the Duke himself. Wayne plays a boxer (not a cowboy!) who moves back to Ireland and eventually falls in love with Maureen O’Hara, but not until after much mayhem. This Technicolor feast for the eyes was nominated for best picture in 1953, and John Ford took home the best director Oscar. So see the movie and then go out for a big honkin’ steak lunch, pilgrim.

Environmental Film Festival hopes movies can heal Mother Nature

WASHINGTON — Can a powerful movie heal Mother Nature and change the world? Behold the 26th annual Environmental Film Festival, which returns from March 15 to 25. “One of the things we do in addition to screening films is we’re conveners for conversation,” programming director Brad Forder told WTOP. “Over the last couple of years, we’ve used the [festival] not just to watch film, but also to talk about the broader environmental issues.”

The nature films that ask us who we are and what we want to be

New Statesman
Two recent nature documentaries suggest that saving species from extinction means looking more closely at ourselves.

Wildlife trade detective Samuel Wasser receives prestigious Albert Schweitzer Medal

A conservation biologist at the University of Washington, U.S., Wasser has pioneered methods that use DNA from elephant dung to identify poaching hotspots and pinpoint where seized ivory originates from — work that’s been instrumental in prosecuting some of Africa’s biggest ivory poachers.

Inside Britain’s confiscated ivory room

The Telegraph
The evidence could have been picked at random from a village jumble sale: two old fashioned cigarette holders, a bangle, a box with a broken lid that may once have held jewellery, and an ancient pair of opera glasses.

Tales of murder and suffering in Hong Kong ivory ban debate

A Kenyan park ranger who said his closest friend was shot dead while protecting elephants urged Hong Kong not to compensate the city’s ivory traders in an emotive speech to lawmakers on Wednesday.

Prince William Says He’s ‘Angry’ Following Shocking Deaths of Wildlife Rangers by Poachers

Prince William is speaking out about the shocking deaths of rangers trying to protect the lives of elephants, rhinos and other endangered wildlife.

隨時絕後 世上最後三隻北非白犀牛

Metro Pop
全新紀錄片The Last Animals(暫譯《瀕危動物》)追訪非洲盜獵問題,因而了揭示盜獵與恐怖主義的關係,並記錄犀牛和大象步向絕種的經過。即使你不關心動物,看過這齣紀錄片,看見這些製品所沾上的血和淚,也許會令你動容。

Article in Apple Daily

Apple Daily

環保人士:如不停止獵殺 世上終將只剩人類

Taiwan News
(台灣英文新聞 / 林靜怡 台北採訪報導)野生救援 WildAid與關懷生命協會、美國在台協會(AIT)今(5)日在華山光點共同舉辦動保紀錄片《The Last Animals》的試映會。

‘Sherlock’ Sam Wasser sniffs out poachers in global fight to preserve pangolin

The Times
The world’s only scaly mammal has surpassed rhino and elephant to become the most hunted animal.

Impact with Don Shafer radio interview with Kate

Radio Interview

Documenting Africa’s poaching epidemic: Q&A with the director of ‘The Last Animals’

After years of documenting some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts, a vacation in Kenya inspired photojournalist Kate Brooks to turn her lens to a different kind of violence: the slaughter of elephants and rhinos to feed black-market demand for ivory and rhino horn.

‘Star Trek’ Actor Says Earth’s 4,000 Tigers Are Worth Saving

It’s been a less than stellar time lately for fans of Earth. On July 9, New York magazine published a horrifying story implying that the planet is about to be way too hot for humans. And then researchers revealed that our animal friends aren’t faring so well either, releasing an alarming study contending that Earth is experiencing its sixth mass extinction event with half the world’s species in extreme decline.

Fighting to Save Animals From Extinction

A new documentary – The Last Animals – looks at efforts to stop vulnerable groups of animals from extinction.

The Last Animals: Tribeca Review

Screen Daily
A former war photographer tracks the shameful ivory trade in a galvanising documentary which is a potent mix of film and message.

Where Terrorism and the Ivory Trade Collide

The Daily Beast
Kate Brooks, a photojournalist and director of the documentary ‘The Last Animals,’ on why the United States must take immediate action to stop the ivory trade.

Is it truth? Is it fiction? Hot Docs films find Hollywood counterparts: Howell

Toronto Star
Parallels between real life and classic Hollywood narratives can be drawn in multiple instances.

The Last Animals, Photojournalist Kate Brooks’s Poaching Documentary, Is a Quietly Stunning Call-to-Arms

When director and photojournalist Kate Brooks began filming The Last Animals, which premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival, there were seven Northern White Rhinos left on the planet. Now there are only three, all living under 24-hour armed protection at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros, recently appeared on Tinder as the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise money for reproductive technology research. After unsuccessful attempts at natural breeding, scientists are frantically trying to stave off the species’ extinction using in vitro fertilization.

The War on Wildlife and Its Protectors

The New Yorker
The shooting, by armed raiders, of the wildlife conservationist Kuki Gallmann, on April 23rd, is the latest in a series of attacks against environmental activists in Kenya and neighboring African countries. Gallmann, who is seventy-three years old and the author of the best-selling book “I Dreamed of Africa,” the basis for the Hollywood movie of the same title, was shot twice in the stomach. She survived the attack, and is recovering in a hospital in Nairobi.

Tribeca 2017: Five Questions with The Last Animals Director Kate Brooks

Filmmaker Magazine
The Tribeca Film Festival has a history of showing tremendous new environmental documentaries, and this year the stand-out film in this area is Kate Brooks’ The Last Animals, a gut-wrenching investigation into the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade around the globe.

Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Kate Brooks

Women and Hollywood
Kate Brooks is an American photojournalist who has chronicled conflict and human rights issues for nearly two decades. Her introspective collection of essays and photographs, “In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11,” was selected as one of the best photography books of 2011. She studied the Pan-African poaching epidemic under a Knight Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan before embarking on “The Last Animals.”

Hot Docs 2017: Our Review of ‘The Last Animals

In The Seats
Bookended by ominous narration and saturated with images that seem to alternate between the majestic and the horrific, The Last Animals is potent, well-polished documentary tackling the epidemic of the ivory trade.

The Last Animals Review

Hammer To Nail
Completing my tetralogy of recent documentaries (which include Trophy, The Islands and the Whales and A River Below) about the end of the world – or, at least, about the destruction of certain parts of it – comes The Last Animals, a heart-breaking, close-up examination of the final days of certain near-extinct species of animals. From war photographer Kate Brooks, whose first feature this is, the movie chronicles, in harrowing detail, how little time remains before humanity further eradicates not just individual species, but possibly entire genera, as well. As Brooks intones, in voiceover, at the end, “If we don’t stop the killing, it will be just us as the last animals.”

2017 Hot Docs Filmmaker Profile: Kate Brooks (The Last Animals)

Conflict photographer Kate Brooks turns her lens from the war zones to the killing of African Elephants and Rhinos in ‘The Last Animals’ this sweeping and sobering expose of an underreported crisis.

Film-Forward – The Last Animals

Film Forward
Kate Brooks’s sobering documentary explores the real cost of a piece of rhinoceros horn or elephant tusk. Early on, she sets up a hidden camera and records shopkeepers around the world offering to sell her items derived from various endangered species even though they’re prohibited by law. The film asks why countries, including the United States, allow this underground market to continue, and whether the public realizes the ecological cost illicit poaching engenders.

Kate Brooks’ Wildlife Documentary The Last Animals Is a Tribeca Film Festival Must-See

Kate Brooks may be missing the fear gene: At age 20 she was infiltrating state orphanages in Russia to document child abuse, work she published in The Boston Globe and *Newsweek*. By 25 she was capturing the American invasion of Iraq for Time. Ever since, she’s lived in war zones, sending back images of bombings in Pakistan, conflict in Syria, and amputees in Afghanistan.

Hot Docs Announces Lineup

Northern Stars
Most of the The Hot Docs team was in attendance this morning when the full lineup for the 2017 festival was announced. For those who are counting, this will be the 24th annual festival and this year’s slate will present 230 titles from 58 countries in 13 screening programs, with work by female filmmakers representing close to 48 per cent of the official selections.

The Last Animals World Premier at Tribeca 2017

The Last Animals, directed by Kate Brooks, written by Kate Brooks and Mark Monroe. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures. In Czech, English, French, Lingala with subtitles. Earth Day Screening.

An Interview with Kate Brooks

Q and A with filmmaker and photojournalist Kate Brooks.

The Elephant Detective

An American biologist wields an innovative new weapon against the illegal trade in African ivory.

The Last Animals partners with Foxtail Entertainment

Broadcasting & Cable
A significant new player in the world of independent film development, finance and production has emerged as producers Matthew Malek (Martin Scorsese’s upcoming “Silence”) and Anita Gou (Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone”) have partnered to launch the multinational independent label Foxtail Entertainment.

The Environmental Warriors Standing Up Against Poachers and Profiteers

New York Times
Three fearless women who have risked their lives to stop illegal poaching rings and ruthless corporate interests that threaten to destroy precious ecosystems.

8 Must-See Documentaries That Haven’t Been Finished Yet From the Hot Docs Pitch Forum

The Last Animals grabbed the attention of the executives on the roundtable like no other pitch in the 48-Hour Forum. It was the project that made Amazon’s Briana Little gush, and other executives follow suit with praise for the trailer’s “strong images” and effective use of “pulling at heartstrings.”

The Changing Face of Documentary Distribution: The 17th Annual Hot Docs Forum

Filmmaker Magazine
The 17th annual Hot Docs Forum kicked off Tuesday in Toronto with all the pomp and ceremony of a high school model UN tournament. Axel Arno, SVT commissioning editor and one of three forum moderators, laid out the rules: each team will have seven minutes to pitch, followed by another seven minutes of question-and-answer discussion; the bell will ring once at the six-minute mark and twice at the seven-minute mark. Over two days, 20 producing teams pitched projects while 20-odd commissioning editors, broadcasters and video-on-demand reps sat at the table giving their feedback while other financiers and gatekeepers, most notably a Netflix rep, lurked silently in the audience.

Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room

Vineyard Gazette
One night early this summer after dinner in a new Edgartown restaurant, my girlfriends and I wandered into a store that’s been a fixture on Main street for years. Right at the entrance we spotted a large glass case filled with white bracelets and necklaces. Jokingly I asked the two women behind the counter, “This isn’t ivory, is it?” Their response floored me. “Oh, yes! It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s over one hundred years old!”

World Photo Report features The Last Animals

World Photo Report
The World Photo Report features The Last Animals.

Confiscated Tiger Heads and Stools Made of Elephant Feet

When visitors to the National Wildlife Property Repository near Denver enter the 16,000-square-foot warehouse and see the full array of dead animals and products kept within, they tend to stop short, open their eyes wide and utter something that suggests shock and awe.

Elephant Killer


The recent capture of a notorious poacher has given hope to officials in Chad battling to save the African elephant from extinction.

The call came in to Gary Roberts last March at his home in Béré, a village of subsistence farmers deep in the sorghum and cotton fields of southern Chad. Reports were circulating, a local conservationist told him, that a mass killing of elephants had occurred some 100 miles away, near the Cameroon border: Could Roberts see what he could find out?

The Human Victims in the Fight Over Rhino Poaching in Africa


At Kruger National Park in South Africa, the economy drives rangers to hunt poachers and poachers to hunt for horn.

Vusi Nyathi went to the bush for rhinos. Not to watch them like some tourist, though. He went for a payday, about $5,000, more than he could make in a lifetime in the small village in Mozambique where he grew up. Vusi Nyathi went to poach rhinos. He returned in a body bag of thick black plastic.

Rhino Orphanage in South Africa Takes in Littlest Victims of Poaching


Kumba doesn’t like the sound of men’s voices. A masculine tone makes him wary, causing him to take a step away from the green iron bars of his enclosure.

He much prefers manager Gaby Benavides and the other female staff members at the Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. Kumba will come closer when they approach, anticipating a feeding or a walk, and when he’s left behind in his enclosure, he bleats plaintively, a sound that’s endearingly like a cross between a rubber squeak and a kazoo.

He’s a bit of a mama’s boy, which is understandable when you consider that only a few weeks ago, his mother was killed by poachers, who hacked off her horns and left her bleeding in the grass.

Tusks of War


As a photojournalist, Kate Brooks was used to documenting war zones. Then she discovered a new kind of genocide – the killing of Africa’s elephants.

Over the past few years, the slaughter of African elephants and rhinoceros has skyrocketed to supply international markets with their tusks and horns. Some experts say 35,000 elephants are being killed per year, others believe the number is as high as 50,000.

A Conflict Photographer Takes on the Rapidly Escalating Poaching Crisis

It’s a crisis of international proportions, and the tragedy of the potential loss of entire species is only the beginning. As Hillary Clinton put it last fall when she introduced an $80 million anti-trafficking program: “This is not just about elephants. It is about human beings, governments, trying to control their own territory, trying to keep their people safe, as well as protecting their cultural and environmental heritage.” The spoils from the global poaching trade, valued as high as $10 billion a year, moreover, are funding terrorist organizations and criminal syndicates, making it an issue of international security as well.

100,000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Just Three Years, Landmark Analysis Finds

Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.

London Summit Intensifies Battle Against Wildlife Crime


Bringing together heads of state and government ministers from 50 countries, Thursday’s high-level summit on illegal wildlife trade may represent a turning point in the fight against wildlife crime.

The London summit—hosted by the British government and led by Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson—focuses on securing specific actions around elephants, rhinos, and tigers.

Close-Up Aerial Photos of Africa’s Last Elephants

Zakouma National Park in southern Chad is famous for its large, free roaming herds of elephants. This has made it a honeypot for poachers. From 2005 to 2010, demand for ivory has reduced the park’s elephant population from over 4,000 to about 450 individuals.





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We'll keep you up to date on the latest news and announcements regarding The Last Animals.

IMAGES ©The Last Animals