The television series ‘Wildlife Wars’ follows investigative wildlife photographer, Karl Ammann
around the world in pursuit of those who break international law designated to
protect endangered animals.
Some years ago, while living in Africa, the acclaimed Swiss photographer began
turning his camera away from the beautiful to focus on the ugly, a face of reality
no one wanted to see… but which in good conscience he could no longer avoid.
The crimes he discovered compelled him to become a spokesman for the
voiceless, a relentless detective solving mysteries of kidnapping, smuggling and
murder. With his camera as a sidearm Karl follows the trails of those who
commit crimes against nature, against animals.
In Wildlife Wars, Karl Ammann travels the world posing as a wild animal
trader, a bushmeat buyer, or simply a tourist. He’s armed only with his quiet
composure, intelligent questions, and a firm belief in the rights of animals.
Myanmar, the DRC, Cameroon, Egypt are just a few of the targeted nations to
which his investigations will lead us.
Putting himself at risk time and time again, Ammann manages to get where few
people dare to go, using hidden cameras to reveal shocking scenes of animal
exploitation, and recording his thoughts and discoveries in intimate first person
journal entries along the way. As a result, the series has a raw, edgy quality and
is compelling, albeit shocking viewing.
Unabashedly, he shames governments into action
by exposing their failures and the desperate – and illegal -- measures taken by
Believing that humans have a kinship with the animal kingdom that has yet to be
fully understood and explored, Karl has moved beyond the question of animal
rights. The animals he protects he believes are sentient beings, with sophisticated
social structures and rich emotional lives… and like us they are wired to fight for
His efforts have paid off and the world is taking note. For five years in a row
Ammann won the “World in our Hands” category in competition for the BBC
Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Time Magazine has named Karl a “Hero of
the Environment; people who have given the earth a voice.” In 2008 he won the
Humane Society of America’s Genesis Award for the third time. But as
appreciative as he is of these accolades, they are not his reason for doing
investigative reporting. His goal – to put an end to this senseless carnage -- is
one that cannot wait.
Karl Ammann's CV
1948 Born in St Gallen, Switzerland
1972 Attends St Gall Graduate School of Economics
1974 Graduates from Cornell University in hotel management. Moves to Kenya to start work with
Intercontinental. Spends six months helping the Zairean government organize the Rumble in the Jungle.
1978 Moves to Cairo to manage Hotel.
1980 Spends two years in the Masai Mara to do some research on Cheetah resulting in the first
photographic title: Cheetah (1984)
1983 Sets up ecotourism camp in Maasai Mara.
1986 Sets up camp in Virunga Mountains, Rwanda.
1988 Sells camps to concentrate on photography. During journey up the Congo river witnesses
Commercial bush meat trade first hand.
1992 First investigative expedition in Africa, looking into apes orphaned by the bush meat trade.
1995 Initiates campaign with the European Zoo Association leading to a 2 million signature petition
being presented to the European Parliament.
1997 Wins the Dolly Green award for artistic achievement for his work to publicize the bush meat issue.
1998 Starts research into the "The lost Gorillas of Bondo."
1999 Wins the Chimfunshi Pal award in recognition of his work to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees.
2000 Wins special Genesis Award for the media work in exposing the bush meat crisis.
2003 Eating Apes published.
2004 Consuming Nature published.