When Lambs Become Lions


In a Kenyan town bordering wildlife conservation land, two men try to hold onto their increasingly fragile status quo. A small-time ivory dealer fights to stay on top while forces mobilize to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline.


The plummeting elephant population in Africa has captured the attention of the world. And as the government cracks down, the poachers face their own existential crisis. For them, conservationists are not only winning their campaign to value elephant life over its ivory, but over human life as well. Who are these hunters who will risk death, arrest and the moral outrage of the world to provide for their families?


Director Jon Kasbe followed the film’s subjects over a three-year period, gaining an extraordinary level of access and trust as he became part of their everyday lives. The result is a rare and visually arresting look through the perspectives and motives of the people at the epicenter of the conservation divide.



​"When Lambs Become Lions" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival April 20th - April 25th, 2018, and received the award for

Best Editing for Documentary Film. It also received the Grand Jury Award at Mountain Film Festival, and was nominated for the Environmental Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest

See here for more information on the "When Lambs Become Lions" website.