Launched at Last

by Naomi on November 15, 2012

in Bulletin Board, Wildlife

Dave Estment filming rhino at sunset

It’s been a wild and woolly year, since Dave and I embarked on an unforgettable journey in the creation of two short rhino films and an accompanying photographic book. Shot in South Africa, the films were created in response to the escalating threat of extinction facing Earth’s remaining rhinos, the first film, Rhineo & Juliet – Love and Tragedy in Africa, addresses this crisis, while the second, The Ark – Rhino Survival Sanctuary, shares a potential solution.

Our heart-felt thanks goes out to all the amazing people who have given generously of their time, energy and expertise in contributing to the making of the films, as listed in the credits, as well as to the translation of both scripts into multiple languages. Special mention also to Wayne Nicholson and his team for their valued contribution and for sharing this in his post, Love & Tragedy in Africa.

Here are the films, with a word of warning to sensitive viewers: the first one contains a few brief but extremely hard-hitting scenes, which we have been repeatedly advised are critical to convey the extent of the rhino poaching horror. These were contributed by witnesses, who care deeply about the importance and urgency of the message. While the first is a sweeping story that tugs at the heart by humanizing rhino, the second film is documentary in nature, sharing a beautiful, tranquil overview of a solution.

Rhineo & Juliet – Love and Tragedy in Africa

The Ark – Rhino Survival Sanctuary

For further inspiration, I’ll leave you with the words of Tony Frost, CEO of Sirocco Strategy Management, former CEO of WWF and board member of the South African National Biodiversity Institute: β€œIt was a real pleasure to meet this morning. I must say you are embarking on a terrifically exciting journey. If there is anything meaningful that I can do I would be honoured to try . . . the rhino is a massive and incredibly important symbol of a much bigger malaise attacking this planet and therefore it is a magnificent opportunity to do something much bigger than only saving the rhino. You have the vehicle, we have to help you to drive it hard!”

As an aside, blogging friends may remember my post from October last year, at the start of this adventure: Wild Things Wringing Our Hearts Inside Out, which included a photo of “Smurf”, an adorable 6-week-old Rhino calf sucking our video camera. As shared in that post, our beautiful and beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Jina, disappeared while we were away working on the first film. She came home but vanished again soon afterwards and for those who remember her, she hasn’t returned, which is the reason why she hasn’t featured on this blog in a long while. Our love is with her always.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

[email protected] November 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I’m off to my meditation group this morning, but I had to peek at this post, Naomi. I haven’t received notices of posts from you for a long time. Don’t know the reason, but happy to see this from you. I will watch the videos when I return home – I saw the warning and hope I can keep my eyes open.

The reason I had to comment, however, is to let you know how sorry I am that Jina is not with you. How heart breaking! I’m certain you are still desolate, but I sure hope the sting subsides soon!.

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Naomi November 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Hi Amy, thank you so much for your lovely comment and kind words, which I really appreciate πŸ™‚ Also, sincere apologies from my side for being so scarce around the blogosphere, as time has been at a premium for a while.

It has been heart-breaking to lose Jina, especially not knowing what, where, why or how. It still sometimes feels as though I’ll hear her little paws on the window sill at any moment, but the memory of her itself is comforting. I’ll visit your blog shortly to discover news of Duc, who I hope is thriving, in true Duc fashion! Lots of love and a big hug in the meantime, XO

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[email protected] November 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm

These videos are very tough for me to view, Naoms. I can only watch the second video in segments. I watched the third one first! How will I manage the first one?! I have to keep going because I cannot stop seeing the face of the father rhino.

I’m so grateful for all of you who put your lives, hearts and souls into making us aware of these unacceptable travesties.

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Naomi November 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Sincere thanks for your comment, Amy – and also for watching, even in part. We fully understand how difficult the tough bits are to see, and apologise for disturbing you so. Significant consideration and discussion went into the making of the films, also from the point of view of the videographers who captured the graphic clips. It was utterly heart-wrenching for them too and they did it in order to enlighten others about the extent of the savagery associated with poaching – in the hope of helping to stem the tide. I’m a bit confused by your mention of a third video, as there are just the two, so I gather that you have watched The Ark and sections of Rhineo & Juliet. There aren’t any others at this stage, so nothing worse to face. Love from us both, also to Duc πŸ™‚ xx

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Tammy November 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Congratulations to you and Dave! That is wonderful news. Love what you are doing and the awareness that you are raising. So good to see you back.

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Naomi November 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks so much from us both, Tammy! We sincerely appreciate your support, caring and kind words. My apologies for not visiting your beautiful blog recently, but I’ll be by again soon. Warmest regards in the meantime, xo

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Jamie Dedes December 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

Naomi, what a valuable and compassionate project. I wondered why you weren’t posting much and I would assume now that this took much of your time. I will share the videos with a note on two of my blogs and with your permission, I would like to post the entire piece on Into the Bardo http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/ It will include links and copyright and credit as appropropriate. I’ll come visit here again to see your response.

You must miss Jena terribly.

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Naomi December 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hi Jamie, thank you so much for your special message! It’s wonderful to hear from you, as always πŸ™‚ Yes, Dave and I have been extremely dedicated to conservation this past year, including creating these and other videos, establishing the Wild Imaging Trust (www.wildimaging.org) and launching an epic project called Rock ‘n Ride 4 Rhino (www.rnr4r.org), which entails a 5 month motorcycle tour of Southern Africa next year, in partnership with Jason Hartman (2009 SA Idol and passionate conservationist) and Damien Mander (founding director of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation). Hence my long silence around the blogosphere, with sincere apologies! Heartfelt thanks also for offering to share our videos. Please proceed freely – we treasure all assistance in spreading the message. I really appreciate your thoughtful mention of Jina too, knowing that you and Gypsy understand πŸ™‚ You’re so right, there are times I still miss her desperately. Lots of love and warmest New Year wishes to you and yours, XO

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Jamie Dedes January 17, 2013 at 7:54 am

Thank you, Naomi. The post will go up on “Into the Bardo” on Friday, the 18th. I’ll post one or the other of the videos on “The Cat’s Meow” next week. Hugs!

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Naomi January 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thank you SO MUCH Jamie, you’re a darling…MWAH! All the best for a beautiful week πŸ™‚

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Jamie Dedes January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

Well, I just finished loading the piece into Bardo and after rereading it and viewing the videos – sad and wonderful, I’d like to post the whole thing again on “The Cat’s Meow” on Sunday instead of just posting a video. I will assume it’s okay. It helps to prompt the project. FYI: I couldn’t download a photo of you from your Gravatar, so I used one from Facebook. Hope that works okay for you.

Be well … and thank you! πŸ™‚

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Naomi January 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Ah…THANKS again Jamie! On behalf of all of us involved, we sincerely appreciate your support. Lots of love & a big hug, XO

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sonsothunder March 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

How’s it going Naomi? Long time no chat.. great work for a great cause here as always.
Bless You
paul

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Naomi March 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi Paul, lovely to hear from you πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind comment and apologies for my long silence around the blogosphere! We have been completely dedicated to our latest conservation project called Rock ‘n Ride 4 Rhino (www.rnr4r.org), for which I’ll share info as soon as possible. Richest blessings back to you, Naomi

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