In an interview with ITV, Prince William has declared that the world has between 5 and 10 years to save the rhino, whilst also hitting back at claims he is work-shy.
The Duke of Cambridge spoke exclusively to Mark Austin for tonight’s ITV Evening News, condemned the illegal poaching trade – the cause of putting the rhino and elephant so close to being on the extinction list.
- Prince William speaks to ITV about the plight of the rhino. ITV
William is president of United for Wildlife and a patron of Tusk Trust, and his been campaigning with the organisations for a number of years. Conservation is one of three main areas in which his, Catherine’s and Harry’s Royal Foundation works.
He said it would be “devastating for humanity” to lose these animals, and that we would become permanent victims of aggressive poaching gangs if they win.
“If we haven’t achieved something in the next five to 10 years then we will be almost impossible to do anything after that,” the Duke said.
The interview was conducted last week at Kensington Palace, William’s London residence. He wears ream chinos, a pale blue shirt and navy jacket, as he spoke to ITV.
William confirmed he once ‘jokingly’ said he would get rid of the ivory in Buckingham Palace, adding: “Obviously I’d like to make a point that I don’t think that ivory is particularly cool and I don’t think it should be on mantelpieces and in people’s houses any more.”
The Royal Collection contains numerous ivory pieces, which were bought and created before the ivory ban of the 1950s.
He also called for ‘urgent action’ to break the links between poaching and terrorism: “In certain areas there is potential evidence and links… that are of a concern that I think we should be taking more urgent action.”
Presenter Mark Austin also questioned the 33-year-old on the accusations that he is ‘work-shy’, which have been appearing recently in the press, claiming the Duke only works 20 hours per week as an air ambulance pilot, whilst shirking Royal engagements.
“How annoyed do you get when you read that you are not busy enough and stuff like that?”
William replied: “Well, these sorts of things take a lot of time, they take a lot of planning and a lot of knowledge building, a lot of conversations,” hinting at his behind-the-scenes work with his patronages.
He said such accusations were simply ‘part of the job’.
“And I want to turn round and turn to my children and my friends and talk to other people my age and having known we have truly made a difference, we have fixed something, we have given hope to the future. And that should give everybody a lift and realise there is hope that we can fix stuff.”
Speaking of his hopes for his children, Prince William joked he could see George “being a bit of a bum out in the conservation world with his bangles and his sandals”. He hopes his children follow his lead by continuing to fight for the protection of such animals.
“I definitely like to see George and Charlotte in Africa they’d have a wonderful time and I can see George being a bit of a bum sometimes out in the conservation world with his bangles and his sandals,” he joked.
“But I think I’d love them to be interested in the subject and pursue the same sort of ideas and aims that I am.”
Today, the Prince also signed a new United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce declaration at Buckingham Palace, which seeks to end the transport of illegal ivory and horn across the world.