Is Where The Crawdads Sing Based On A True Story?
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In 1995, according to Bustle, a camera crew was dispatched to Zambia to record a documentary about Mark and Delia Owens and their conservation efforts in Africa. Already by that time, tensions were high between the couple and area poachers, tension that was encapsulated by orders Mark gave to his men, and which were captured for the cameras. “Shoot at them first … when you see the whites of his eyes,” he told his scouts. The Owens’ would later clarify that the “shoot to kill” policy was the Zambian government’s, and not their own.

The cameras recorded a poacher being shot and killed. Scouts identified him as a “trespasser” and shot him multiple times. The ABC camera crew was sworn to secrecy, as The New Yorker reported, with host Meredith Vieira explaining to the audience, “We were allowed to accompany patrols in Zambia after we agreed not to identify those involved, should a shooting occur. On this mission, we would witness the ultimate price paid by a suspected poacher.” The poacher has not been identified, according to Slate, and Zambian authorities would like to have a word with Mark Owens and people who worked with him or for him.

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