NATURE & WILDLIFE
planet without apes
Follow reporter Michel Abdollahi on his worldwide search to uncover illegal trade of great apes.
1 x 60'
Norddeutscher Rundfunk / Doclights
Episode InformationWARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: This film contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised. The film follows reporter Michel Abdollahi on his worldwide search to uncover illegal trade of great apes. Together with former poachers, his journey begins in the Congo basin where he tries to see the last living bonobos. Instead, he finds a bonobo mother shot by poachers; for every baby ape that ends up in a zoo or as a pet, an average of ten adult apes die. To expose the traffickers, Michel pretends to be a buyer and secretly films the deal. A Congolese whistleblower, formerly a key player in the illegal trade, reveals the role of corrupt politicians and officials. Michel travels to China, the USA, the UAE and Thailand, and sees how demand is a big driver for this trade. In a rundown zoo on the rooftop of a Bangkok shopping mall, Michel spots a hidden bonobo with questionable documentation. With the help of international experts like Jane Goodall, he tries to free the young ape. However, the Thai authorities ignore all evidence and refuse to cooperate. In the end, Michel realises that CITES, an international treaty aimed at regulating wildlife trade, is flawed and has neither real power to help the bonobo nor to protect great apes.