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Filmmaker Tom Opre dedicated over three years to documenting the lives of a remote community in Zambia, led by a woman chief, who dared to break the bonds of poverty by waging a war on wildlife poaching.


In 2015, the children of the Lower Luano Valley were starving to death. For generations, the people survived by living off the land, which included eating a small amount of game. They worked hand in hand with the safari hunting industry, which helped pay for the protection of wildlife and provided hard cash to this community. But in 2001 and 2002, the Zambian government banned safari hunting which created a vacuum. The land soon became filled by well-organized bush meat poaching gangs.

The wildlife was decimated over the next fifteen years.


Once, the area held Africa’s Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard, cape buffalo, and rhino. Now almost all those animals, along with a multitude of plains game, were gone. The people had no hope. No safari hunting operator would even consider committing funds to a “game-depleted” concession with no legal hunting quota.


But the people of Shikabeta were led by a wise chief. She knew she needed a safari operator in her area. She cast her net and found Roland Norton, an import/export customs dealer who had spent a lifetime dreaming of running his own safari concession.


From 2017 through 2020, filmmaker Tom Opre documented the complexities, heartaches, and successes of an unusual business agreement which led to astonishing results for not only the wildlife but, most importantly, the community.


Incredible stories are often left on the cutting room floor during the film editing process. Killing the Shepherd: Beyond the Film delves deeper than any film. Gritty and raw, this book will take the reader through a transformative process.

Killing the Shepherd: Beyond the Film (Hardcover) + BluRay


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