Guardians of Wildlife


A zoo director breaking new ground: Theo Pagel, renowned zoologist and long-standing director of Cologne zoo, wants to determine whether zoos can contribute to saving threatened species. Or is the claim that zoos help protect rare species just a PR stunt of zoos to ‘green up’ their image? To this end he sets off into the wilds of Vietnam and Laos in the first episode of this two-part documentary and visits nature protection projects for apes, reptiles, bears and elephants.

How can zoos support the rescue and safeguarding of the animal world? In search of answers, we accompany Theo Pagel on nocturnal expeditions in rainforests and boat trips to mysterious islands. A thrilling quest with stunning animal photography and amazing discoveries.

Written and directed by: Herbert Ostwald // Camera: Erik Sick // Sound: Bastian Barenbrock // Film editor: Isabelle Albert // Music: Stefan Döring // Sound editor: Maximilian Dederichs // Sound mix: Alexander Weuffen // Grading: Dany Schelby // Production assistant: Katja Sträter // Production manager: Oliver Gontram // Executive producer: Thomas Weidenbach // Commissioning editor: Gabriele Conze 

  • YEAR 2015
  • LENGTH 45/15 min