Animal Welfare

Mission – Exposing Secret Seal Clubbing

This was the very first Earthrace mission. It involved exposing the brutal Seal Clubbing that happens inside a De Beers Diamond Mine Facility in Namibia. Covertly entering the mine however is no easy task, especially with roving armed patrols. The team was dropped offshore by Zodiac, swam into the mine, then spent the next 4 days dodging patrols and trying to film the cull. On the final day, out of food, and out of water, Jack and Pete witness the horrific seal clubbing and film it all. The resulting footage formed the Pilot episode of Series 1 of “The Operatives.” Earthrace has continued pushing Namibia to halt the cull. In 2015 we handed a 200,000 strong petition to the Namibian Parliament. Pete has also met with a number of Government Officials and continues to work with them on getting the cull stopped. We work with the South African NGO “Seals of Nam”.

Mission – Dolphin Rescue

We received intelligence of a dolphin that had been captured and illegally sold to an Island Resort. The Resort had no permit to keep the dolphin, and the Governor had ordered it’s release. Police claimed it was a Ministry of Forestry issue and they should remove the dolphin. The Ministry of Forestry claimed it was a Police matter. As a result, the dolphin remained captive, living in a child-sized swimming pool. We covertly entered the facility, captured the dolphin, and removed it to an Island Sea Pen where it was rehabilitated and successfully released back into the wild. We produced an episode of television from the mission, and it became the standout in Season 2 of The Operatives. We worked with Jakarta Animal Aid Network on the mission.

Mission – The Lost Tigers

We received intelligence of a long-lost tiger population on a remote island. Initially we discounted the intelligence as unreliable, however on further investigation we reconsidered the data. Several larger Islands nearby had previously held Rhino and Elephant populations, and were historically connected to mainland Asia. Rising sea levels had marooned the animals. It remained possible then that tigers had also been present and survived. The challenge though was the Island, while uninhabited, was under the control of the Chinese, with a military base just 30 kilometers away. Proving tigers still existed there was going to be a most difficult challenge. This mission was made into an episode of Series 2 of “The Operatives”, and it highlighted the precarious position Tigers are now in. Habitat loss, poaching, human-tiger conflict, and population splintering have combined and had a devastating impact on tiger populations.

Future Animal Welfare Missions

Earthrace is open minded on future Animal Welfare missions. We prefer those where we can partner with local NGOs that understand the issues and can provide knowledge and support.

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