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Prince Harry releases personal photos from his African conservation work this past summer

Prince Harry has released personal photos and videos from his African conservation work this past summer. The 31-year-old Prince has spent three months in the summer working as a wildlife conservation volunteer to highlight the threat to elephants and rhinos from poachers. The pictures are from Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia and show Harry in action alongside rangers who are responding to poaching attack.

Photograph: Kensington Palace/PA

Photograph: Kensington Palace/PA

Prince Harry captioned this image with:

“After a very long day in Kruger National Park, with five rhinos sent to new homes and three elephants freed from their collars – like this sedated female – I decided to take a moment.
I know how lucky I am to have these experiences, but hearing stories from people on the ground about how bad the situation really is, upset and frustrated me. How can it be that 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year alone? None of them had names, so do we not care? And for what? Their tusks? Seeing huge carcasses of rhinos and elephants scattered across Africa, with their horns and tusks missing is a pointless waste of beauty.”

 Photograph: ©Prince Harry

Photograph: ©Prince Harry

The above photo was captioned by Prince Harry:

“I was working with Dr. Mark Jago and Dr. Pete Morkel in Namibia. Some countries are de-horning small populations of rhino to deter poachers from shooting them. It is a short-term solution and surely no substitute for professional and well-trained rangers protecting these highly sought-after animals. De-horning has to be done every two years for it to be effective and can only realistically be done with small populations in open bush. My initial task each time was to monitor the heart rate and oxygen levels and help stabilise them as quickly as possible. My responsibilities then grew to taking blood and tissue samples and the de-horning itself.”

The pictures were released to coincide with his official visit to the South Africa Wildlife College near the Kruger National Park on Wednesday. Earlier today he was shown the horrific sight of a slaughtered female rhino and her calf. The rhino was killed for her horn, which is a valuable animal commodity.

 Photograph: ©Prince Harry

The above photo was captioned by Prince Harry:

“By this point many people will have heard of ‘Hope’, a young female black rhino that was brutally wounded by poachers in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This was the second operation to try to save this animal’s life.

Some poachers use a dart gun and tranquilize the animal so as to not have to fire a shot that would be heard. They then hack their face off while the animal is paralysed before running off with the horn. Local communities saw her stumbling through the bush and then alerted the authorities. Thanks to Dr William Fowlds and his team, Hope survived and is making a speedy recovery. I stared into her eyes while operating on her and thought at first that it would have been better and fairer to put her down rather than put her through the pain. Afterwards I was told of another female called Thandi who was in a similar state in 2012. She now has a baby calf called Thembi.”

Prince Harry gave a speech at Wednesday’s visit to the South Africa Wildlife College, where he expressed his love for Africa and his horror at the 500% increase in poaching in just five years time.

  • Caroline

    Heartbreaking

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