NGC documentary to be honoured at Genesis awards

LOS ANGELES: The elephant may symbolise God in Asia, but its treatment in the region would make any animal lover hang his/her head in shame. National Geographic captured the plight of the noble creature through a documentary Vanishing Giants. The work will be honoured with a Genesis Award shortly.

Now in their 17th year, the Genesis Awards will be presented for the first time by The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) formerly known as The Ark Trust. The awards felicitate members of the news and entertainment media for spotlighting animal issues with courage, creativity and integrity. The ceremony honouring the 23 recepients takes place on 15 March in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills.

Vanishing Giants focussed viewers' attention on the manner in which elephants in Thailand are inhumanely used and abused. They suffer so that the burgeoning tourist industry might thrive. The crew worked in Thailand for around two weeks with reporter Jenny Hile, documenting the fate of the Asian elephant. Locations varied from the streets of crowded Bangkok to the mountains of Northern Thailand.

A highlight of the programme was a hike to a remote mountaintop elephant sanctuary Elephant Heaven, where disabled or abused domestic elephants are now allowed to roam free. In addition the show will pay tribute to Sangduen "Lek" Chailert by making her the guest of honour. Chailert founded Elephant Nature Park in Thailand which serves as a place where elephants are not harrassed and misused.

The legal drama, The Practice with Dylan Mcdermott which airs in India on Star World, has also been cited. The episode in question is Small Sacrifices which has been applauded for unmasking the ugly reality of American factory farming.

Other winners include DreamWorks' Oscar nominated Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron. The family animated film captures the heart and soul of a brave mustang and makes viewers understand the manner in which he seeks a free life.

Animal Planet's series Animal Cops will be rewarded in the reality programming segment. The series dealt with companion animal abuse at its worst, interwoven with life-affirming moments when grateful animals are delivered into the safety of caring hands.

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