Tbs Special Rips Poaching Of Wildlife

Posted: March 25, 1989

America is squandering one of its most valuable natural resources with wanton disregard. Throughout the United States, thousands of endangered or threatened animals are killed illegally each year by hunters who cavalierly

break the laws designed to protect our nation's wildlife population.

Sunday at 7 p.m., the National Audubon Society and Superstation TBS examine this issue in "Greed, Guns and Wildlife," narrated by Richard Chamberlain. It is a one-hour look at the shocking reality of poaching in this country. The documentary features footage that many will find horrifying.

It examines the extent of the problem and the difficulties involved in changing the attitudes of people who for generations have believed that indiscriminate hunting practices are simply one of their inalienable rights.

Poaching is defined as the illegal taking of wildlife. Among other things, it includes killing a female with young, shooting wildlife in a national park and taking more wildlife than is legally permitted. Poaching has been recorded in almost every state.

"Although considerable attention has been given to the problem of poaching in Africa and Asia, the National Audubon Society is one of the first groups to deal with the situation here in the United States," said Mark Shwartz, producer of the documentary.

Shwartz, an independent television producer who has made wildlife documentaries for NBC, said he was responsible for the original concept for ''Greed, Guns and Wildlife" and was delighted to find that the Audubon Society and TBS had similar interests.

During the filming, which took a year and a half, the crew was allowed to participate in a sting operation mounted by game officials in Tennessee and North Carolina. The undercover procedure was designed to apprehend poachers who were slaughtering black bears and selling their body parts for profit.

Black bears are highly prized for their claws and gall bladders, which are believed to have medicinal value in some international markets.

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