The history of the re-creation of an original piece of Africa.
In the region of Meru National Park which was heavily devastated by Somali poachers in the 1980s, a dozen men and women have set an ambitious goal. Practically out of nothing they aspire to create a nature reserve that stretches across the borders of several countries. For a whole year scientists, rangers and politicians were accompanied by a 22-strong German / French film crew, led by the author Frederic Lepage, who has made a worldwide reputation for himself in the field of Natural History through hundreds of documentaries. It was no easy task: the landscape had to be redesigned, regionally extinct species reintroduced and the distribution of plant species had to be carefuly balanced. Finally, corridors promoting the natural migration of animals and thus the exchange of genetic material between widely dispersed populations had to be created. The most complicated aspect of the project was the relocation of the animals. Giraffes were driven with an oversized truck through an African city to their new home, and whole herds of zebra were transported by helicopter into a prepared area, where fences and cages hade been hidden under camouflage in order to herd the animals into transport wagons. Far more dangerous was the relocation of the black rhino, who may become very aggressive when threatened. The pachyderms were anesthetized and their horns sawed off for their own protection, which should also protect them from poachers. The fact that the work didn’t always run very smoothly and the people involved had to often endure highly stressful situations is captivated in stunning images.
A co-production by
LOOKSfilm, Télé Images Nature, France 5
In association with
VOX, Discovery Channel, RTBF
Jean Baptiste Erreca, Laurent Frapat
Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, United Nation Evironment Programme, Media-Program of the European Union