Gambling on Extinction

Unscrupulous investors, speculating on the disappearance of rare animals, and increased demand for animal products from Asia are pushing endangered animals into extinction.

Worldwide, the illegal trade in endangered animals is booming. No longer just the work of individuals or small gangs, it is now dominated by well-organised and equipped international cartels. Wildlife poaching has become the most lucrative illegal business, after the trade in drugs and weapons, with an annual turnover of an estimated twenty billion dollars.

Today, only 3,200 tigers roam the wild. At the current rate of poaching, elephants, rhinos and tigers living in the wild will be extinct in our lifetime. Who are the global players in this deadly game of power, greed and profit? Who pulls the strings and who are the customers? And why have ivory and rhino horn become perfect investment opportunities?


  • Year: 2015
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: A&O BUERO & Real to Reel
  • Director: Jakob Kneser
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, ESP, GER
  • Country of production: Germany



  • Prize of the President of the Festival Commitee (International Film Festival Ekotopfilm – Envirofilm 2015, Slovakia); "Deutscher Umwelt- und Nachhaltigkeitspreis" German Conservation and Sustainability Film Award 2015 (Naturvision Film Festival, Germany); Main prize in the category "Man and nature" (Darßer Naturfilmfestival); Audience Prize at Masuku Film Festival (Gabon); Special Prize of the Jury (Matsalu Nature Film Festival Estland, Estonia); Planeta. Doc Award (Brazil); Best Environmental Conservation Film at the Finnish Vaasa Wildlife Festival (Finland); Second place in the Environmental Section (Ekofilm, Brno) ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL 2015 (USA); International Film Festival Ekotopfilm – Envirofilm 2015 (Slovakia); NaturVision Film Festival 2015 (Germany); DREFF 2015 (Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival); Filmambiente (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Planeta Doc (Brazil); Wild & Scenic Film Festival (USA); Darss Nature Film Festival (Germany), GreenScreen (Eckernförde, Germany) Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (Malaysia), Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam, Life Sciences Film Festival (Czech Rep.); Special Prize of the Jury (Matsalu Nature Film festival, Estonia); Medimed (Spain); Ekofilm, Int Environmental Film Festival (Czech Rep.); SunChild International Environmental Festival 2015 (Armenia); Masuku Film Festival Gabon; World Elephant Day (Kenya); Cape Town Eco Film Festival (South Africa); TEFF Tasmanian Eco Film Festival (Australia); Nebenrolle Natur (Switzerland); Planeta. Doc Festival (Brazil); Kranjska Gora International Film festival (Slovenia; Finnish Vaasa Wildlife Festival (Finland)

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