battleground rhino wars animal planet tca13 gi 'Battleground: Rhino Wars': Prepare to be outraged along with this new Animal Planet show

If you’re the kind of TV viewer who likes to react with outrage, then “Battleground: Rhino Wars” is the show you’ve been waiting for. The program follows the work of a group of former-military commandos fighting against rhinoceros poaching in South Africa.

At the TCA winter press tour of 2013, journalists heard from some of the stars — and saw just a glimpse of the graphic content we can expect from “Rhino Wars.”

The issue is as follows: On the black marked, rhinoceros horns can fetch up to half a million dollars. Many (especially in Asia) consider it to be an almost-magical elixir that can cure everything. The result is that huge numbers of rhinos have been killed, bringing populations into danger of extinction.

Two of the American ex-military stars — Craig “Saw” Sawyer (the Team Leader and a former Navy SEAL) and “Oz” (the medic and an ex-Green Beret) — and “Dap” Maritz (the South African Security Manager of Game Reserves United) represented the show. While the men are intimidating enough on screen, they were positively terrifying in their passion and drive in person. You seriously do not want to get caught poaching by these guys.

That brings up something any viewer should know about “Rhino Wars” — it’s disturbing. Dead and mangled animals are likely to be a regular feature as the show tries to get across its point. It works, but you should be careful.

On the other hand, don’t expect to see a bunch of bullet-ridden poachers. This isn’t a movie, and, as one of the commando guys put it, “We’re not out there to kill people. We’re not out there to hunt people down.”

But they are there to stop a rather senseless slaughter of animals. After all, as Oz said about the rhino horns, “If this had magical healing properties… we’d sit at home and nibble on our fingernails and never get sick.”

“Battleground: Rhino Wars” premieres in March 2013 on Animal Planet.

Posted by:Laurel Brown