William calls for action on ‘barbaric’ hunting of rhinos & elephants

The Duke of Cambridge made a speech yesterday evening at the a ball for Tusk Trust, calling the poaching of animals for their horns ‘barbaric’

The event was the 25th anniversary ball of the wildlife charity, which seeks to facilitate a peaceful co-existence between Africa’s wildlife and its people. In the course of its 25 year history, Tusk Trust has raised over £25 million for projects across the African continent.

Rhino horns are used in Chinese medicine, believed to have healing properties; in fact, horns are made from keratin, which is that same substance in our hair and fingernails. Ivory has become popular in the Far East as a sign of wealth, often used to carve ornaments.

In his speech, the main focus of the gala held at Syon House, William said:

“The need to protect wildlife in Africa is greater than ever before. You’d have thought we learnt the lessons years ago in the great campaigns to ‘Save the Whale’ or ‘Save the Polar Bear’. But sadly we haven’t.

“The elephant and the rhino, among others, are going the same way and, unbelievably, will be extinct in the wild within a few decades, or even less.”

“The illegal slaughter of elephants and rhino for their horns is barbaric, and it’s not stylish to be associated with it.”

Singer Joss Stone, who works with Prince Harry and his charity Sentebale, was the musical entertainment for the evening, hosted at the home of the Duke of Northumberland. Other big names were also in attendance, including the including businesswoman and Dragon, Deborah Meaden, a Tusk Trust patron.

Charlie Mayhew, founder of Tusk Trust said: “Whilst we are thrilled to celebrate this significant milestone for the charity, the current poaching crisis is a stark reminder that our work is not done.

“The next 25 years will be a defining period for the survival of many keynote species in Africa.”

William has been a patron of the organisation for ten years, and in 2013 at the Tusk Trust ball, which was the couple’s first joint engagement since the birth of Prince George, the Prince said:

“Like any new parents, our thoughts inevitably turn to the world that our child will inherit.

“It is unfathomable to imagine a world in which children who have been born in the past couple of months may grow up in a world in which rhinoceros have ceased to exist in the wild.

“The possibility of extinction is bad enough for one of our children growing up here in the West, who will never experience the magic of seeing a rhino on a new television documentary; or even for my own little George, who Catherine and I very much hope to introduce to east Africa – a place we know and love – in the fullness of time.”

It was during a holiday in Africa that William proposed to Catherine.

Read more about the organisation’s work here.

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