Larkspur, CA (February 16, 2021) — Film production company Comfort Theory, in partnership with the California-based nonprofit organization Project Coyote, a project of Earth Island Institute, announced today the release of a new film that exposes the dark underbelly of wildlife killing contests. Wildlife Killing Contests documents through astonishing filmmaking the tournaments and derbies that award prizes to those who kill the largest or greatest number of targeted species, including coyotes, bobcats, foxes, prairie dogs, and even mountain lions and wolves in some states. The film coincides with a growing national campaign to ban the barbaric practice throughout the United States.
A project of Earth Island Institute
Produced by Filipe DeAndrade, National Geographic Explorer, filmmaker, and co-owner of Comfort Theory, and Brian Moghari, a National Geographic contributor and also a co-owner of Comfort Theory, Wildlife Killing Contests picks up where Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs, Project Coyote’s 2017 documentary on the same subject, left off. Killing Games chronicles the grassroots and political fight that culminated in the first statewide ban of killing contests in California in 2014.
“Our victory in California sparked a national movement,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote’s founder and executive director. “In the years since, we co-founded the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, which includes more than 50 national and state organizations dedicated to banning this barbaric practice across the United States. The coalition has succeeded in banning killing contests in seven states, and Maryland, Oregon, New York, and New Jersey are now considering legislative bans,” said Fox. “But the fight continues,” she added. “More than 40 states still allow this cruel practice.” The release of Wildlife Killing Contests buttresses a campaign to end wildlife killing contests on federal public lands.
“We recognized this as a growing problem in the U.S., and, as a film company dedicated to helping further the greater good for the planet and for animals, we reached out to Camilla and Project Coyote and teamed up to produce this new film,” said DeAndrade. “After embedding in the Texas Big Bobcat Killing Contest, we realized not only how many animals were being killed for prizes, but also the financial stakes and rewards that incentivize this mass killing. And we had to expose this ugly world that most people know nothing about.”
Wildlife Killing Contests Executive Producers Pam and Will Harte said that after observing several of the contests they felt the need to create an impact film and media campaign. “The power of documentary film to change hearts and minds is incredibly strong,” Pam Harte said. “My aim in producing this film is to expose this barbaric practice, to educate the public and policymakers, and to inspire action on behalf of our wild animals who suffer unconscionably in these killing fests — for no good reason.”
“One of our greatest impediments to bringing an end to wildlife killing contests is a lack of public awareness,” Fox said. “We believe that, like cockfighting and dogfighting, which have been banned in the U.S. because of their unconscionable cruelty, we will bring an end to wildlife killing contests, and that with this film and partnership with Comfort Theory — along with the collective energy and strength of our national coalition — that goal is within sight.”
Learn more about wildlife killing contests and visit the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests website here.
Project Coyote, a national nonprofit organization, is a North American coalition of scientists, educators, ranchers, and citizen leaders promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy. Visit ProjectCoyote.org for more information.