For three years, war photographer and first-time director Kate Brooks documented the plight of the Northern White Rhinoceros in the midst of a global wildlife trafficking crisis. When she started filming, there were just seven left in the world. Today there are only three.
The Northern White Rhino’s last wild population was poached out of existence a decade ago at Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Garamba is now ground zero for one of the last viable elephant populations in central Africa. Poachers and park rangers are at war due to the ivory trade.
The film looks at the industrial scale illegal wildlife trade from a global perspective, from Africa to the Far East and the United States. Despite international trade bans, the contraband is openly sold and easy to find in both legal and unregulated domestic markets.
Meanwhile, scientists across the globe use cutting-edge technology to apprehend criminals and save threatened species. In Europe and San Diego, geneticists race to reproduce the Northern Whites using IVF and stem cell technology. In Seattle, a forensic expert uses DNA-testing to trace seized ivory back to the killing fields and the criminal networks behind the trade. And in Kenya, an ivory kingpin is finally put on trial—but will he be brought to justice?
The Last Animals is a sweeping and sobering film about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible lengths to save the last animals. The film reveals the tentacles of this illicit and nefarious business, which despite its devastating impact, often seems as elusive as a ghost.