Wildlife investigator goes to ‘W.A.R.’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Wildlife investigator goes to ‘W.A.R.’

By: - Writing Editor
/ 12:01 AM July 03, 2016

IVAN Carter

IVAN Carter

Ivan Carter, TV host and conservationist, investigates animal attacks and poaching incidents in the new show, “Carter’s W.A.R. (Wild Animal Response),” which currently airs on Outdoor Channel (Thursdays, 9 p.m.).

According to Carter, the series aims to tell “stories that nobody wants to talk about.” The wildlife investigator from Zimbabwe talks about the dangers posed by the illegal hunting of animals in Africa, both in the weekly series and in lectures on elephant population.


“Several of the episodes are based on poaching, where we do not hide the horrors or the facts,” Carter tells the Inquirer in an e-mail interview. “We show in detail the graphic effects on individual animals and, at the same time, our content is full of good, well-researched information… People cannot care about things they don’t know, and I believe if I can show them, they will care.”


Excerpts from the interview:

What’s the best lesson that hosting “W.A.R.” has imparted, so far?

It’s a difficult task because I have an enormous responsibility to the conservationists on the front line, the communities and the wildlife to tell their stories in an entertaining, compelling, and informative way. This means getting the trust of local communities, getting glimpses—often at very close quarters—of the wildlife, and also getting to know the true conservation heroes.

The greatest lesson I have learned is that there’s hope, and it rests on the shoulders of conservationists… It’s my duty to tell the viewers about them and get the support and recognition they need.

What is required to become a professional guide in Zimbabwe?

It’s a long and arduous task that requires a two-year apprenticeship and a series of examinations, the last of which is a grueling five-day practical test, during which you will be tested in every aspect of the safari business, your ability in the field, and your ability to keep guests safe in the face of dangerous game.


How would you describe the entertainment value of the show?

The show is exciting and very [fast-paced]—we aim for extremely high, engaging entertainment value, where the audience is immediately gripped by high-stakes reality and [elements of] danger.

What should viewers know about the dangers of poaching to African ecosystems?

Poaching is the greatest single threat not just to African ecosystems, but to ecosystems across the world. Any time there’s a resource that isn’t carefully managed within sustainable quotas, there will be a decline, no different from the ocean fisheries in Asia. If we allow poaching to continue, our children’s wildlife experiences will be confined to zoos and film, because the wild environments and species will no longer exist.

You visited the Philippines a few months ago—what were your thoughts?

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Unfortunately, it was a whirlwind tour… I love what I’ve seen—and I will be back!

TAGS: animal conservation, animal rescue, TV

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