06/19/2012

Prince William lashes out at black rhino poachers

Rhino
Prince William feeds a 5-year-old black rhino called Zawadi as he visits Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent on June 6. William was visiting the park to meet staff and rhinos involved in a translocation project. (Getty Images)

You don't often see Prince William work himself up into royal indignation.

Rhino 1This Tuesday morning on the BBC, however, the second in line to the throne waslead heard throwing out plenty of unflattering adjectives against those involved in the illegal trading of rhino horns.

"I think they are extremely ignorant," he said in an interview taped earlier this month. "I think they are selfish. I think they are wrong, totally and utterly wrong. It makes me very angry. It's a waste."

The cause is very close to William, as patron of the wildlife charity the Tusk Trust.

William made his point during a visit to the Port Lympne wildlife park in Kent, where three rare black rhino were being readied by the Aspinall Foundation for release in the wild in Tanzania.

The black rhino is classified as 'critically endangered,' but continue to be poached for its horn. In some Asian countries, the horn is believed to have medicinal powers.

"My message to them is simply stop," said the Prince. "It's a message about educating people and understanding that when you buy that rhino horn, or when you buy that ivory, you are taking this from an animal that has been slaughtered for his decorative ornament you have on your mantelpiece and you have at home. Is that really what you desire and what you feel is right in the world?"

There are only about 4,800 black rhinos left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. some estimates put the price of an a freshly cut horn at $25-40,000 per kilogram.

Rhino 3
Prince William feeds gorillas during a visit to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in southern England. Prince William met staff and rhinos involved in a translocation project to move hree captive-born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania. (Reuters)





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