TORONTO (February 25, 2015) – Across Africa, some of the most majestic creatures on earth have roamed the wilderness for millions of years. But now, elephants and rhinos are vanishing at breathtaking speed. This Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV GO, and CTVNews.ca, W5 delivers the Canadian broadcast premiere of international co-production GAMBLING ON EXTINCTION, turning the lens on the war between poachers and wildlife in Africa. A war which the most-endangered species are losing, as demand for illegal wildlife products like ivory and rhino horn drive a thriving, multi-billion dollar underground industry.
This week’s all-new, special one-hour W5 episode airs amidst a blockbuster 49th season, which has attracted an average of close to one million viewers on Saturday nights – a 20% increase over last year in the program’s season-to-date audience, consistently winning Saturday nights in its timeslot among non-sports programing.
As covered in this in-depth report, narrated by W5 Host and Chief Correspondent Lloyd Robertson, with ivory worth $500 per kilogram to the poacher and a single rhino horn commanding as much as $60,000 USD, the staggering profits have attracted organized crime syndicates and terrorist organizations, which have quickly taken over the supply and trade in this illegal, booming enterprise. With control of the money and logistics to move thousands of tonnes of contraband around the globe, organized crime has propelled wildlife trafficking such that it now ranks right behind drugs and guns, worth an estimated $20 billion per year. Continue reading