If you don’t know the name Tom Hardy, then you simply haven’t been paying attention. Hardy had his big break is Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending adventure, Inception. Since that epic break-out role, he has had roles in such mega-films as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as well as the deviously villainous role as Bane in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. His is sure to be a name that we hear for years to come.
Hardy will host a two-part documentary that focuses on wholesale poaching in Africa for the U.K. commercial broadcasting network, ITV. The project was reportedly Hardy’s idea, and the working title isPoaching Wars With Tom Hardy. Hardy will also have a large part behind the scenes as an executive producer.
Illegal poaching has reached critical levels throughout the world, but especially in Cameroon, Chad, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These African locations are seeing a major increase in large-scale elephant slaughter. Ivory is an extremely valuable substance, and the number of elephants slain in the last thirty-four years has diminished their population drastically.
According to Nationalgeographic.com, the estimated number of living African elephants was 1.3 million in 1979. In 2013, that number is estimated to be between 472,000 and 690,000. That is an enormous loss of population in a span of thirty-four years.
Hardy’s journey through the continent puts him in contact with key figures in this growing pandemic, including farmers that have suffered from the loss of livestock, poachers, and individuals spearheading organizations dedicated to fighting poaching with ground campaigns and within the government.
Jo Clinton-Davis, the ITV controller of factual, is quoted as saying:
"The story of the impact of wildlife poaching in Africa is one that is important to tell now more than ever. Tom Hardy’s palpable concern and commitment to shedding light on what is happening and what the answers might allow him to bring this reality home in a way that we believe will resonate powerfully with our audience.”
"Tom’s goal is to bring the senseless slaughter of endangered wildlife in Africa, to the attention of the masses. This documentary is the first step of that process," added Dean Baker, an executive producer of the film for Hardy, Son and Baker.
Hats off to Hardy for bringing this dire situation to light.