Britain’s Prince William will fight the scourge of poaching on his trip to Africa later this month as he is “deeply saddened” by the elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks.
The 36-year-old royal will head to Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya later this month and his focus of the trip will be “doing what he can to help end this terrible, global crime”.
Speaking in London for the Royal African Society, he said: “I first fell in love with Africa when I spent time in Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania as a teenager. I was captivated and have been hankering to get back as often as possible ever since. That is why, when you kindly asked me to become the patron of the Royal African Society last year, it was a pretty easy offer to accept.
“Like so many others, I am deeply saddened by the numbers of elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks, horns and scales. But the illegal wildlife trade also has a devastating human impact.
“Too many brave rangers are tragically killed each year by poachers. Communities see their tourist livelihoods threatened. And the proceeds of the illegal wildlife trade fund broader criminal networks and threaten security. This is why I am committed to doing what I can to help end this terrible, global crime. This will be a particular focus of my upcoming visit to Africa, and of course, the Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade taking place here in London in October.”
The Duke of Cambridge had previously insisted that Africa is facing “unprecedented challenges” from poaching and illegal wildlife trading.
He added: “Africa continues to face unprecedented challenges in terms of poaching, driven by the burgeoning illegal trade in wildlife.
“Sadly, all too often rangers are out-resourced and out-gunned. Most of them never imagined that they would need to lay down their lives to protect their country’s heritage. But that is the harsh reality.”