[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.ellistill.jpg caption="Philip's photo of one of the elephants killed for their ivory tusks."]
It was the eyes of the baby elephant that got to me: they were gone. Lying next to its mother, who along with 64 others, had been savagely slain for their ivory a few months ago. Slain by nomads who had lived off the same land as them for eons. Why would they do this? To them the elephants are only lumbering animals, and who cares anyway, they’d say, when there is so much misery and suffering across the boarder in Sudan.
I stand in the Zakouma National Park in Southern Chad, trying to make sense of this senselessness. Why would I even be here? Simple. I am looking for the conflict lines which are to become the theme of Planet in Peril 2.
Filming PIP2 is going to be challenging. I know we are going to see joy, but also tears where the hopelessness of the animals and despair of the citizens who live alongside them collide with the pressure of the outside world, leaning heavily on them to change and conform.
Today I am in Rwanda, a success story where citizens and gorillas share the mountains. All I can hope for is being able to hear the people and the cries of the animals, and let the camera feel their pain and hold the images and sound, and let you decide where to get on or off, either way this is not going to go away.
Let’s speak again soon.
Editor's note: You can read about this and other Planet in Peril stories here.
Filed under: Planet in Peril
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