Prince William makes emotional new plea and demands urgent cr*ckdown on ‘heinous crime’


Prince William’s plea for more to be done to prevent the illegal wildlife trade echoes the activism of his eco-conscious father.

He has previously indicated the strength of his conviction behind establishing the company, stating: “I for one am not willing to look my children in the eye and say that we were the generation that let this happen on our watch.”

Wildlife trading impacts a huge number of animal species. Some of the more commonly known examples include elephants being poached for their ivory, or tigers being hunted for their skins and bones.

However, according to WWF, other forms of wildlife are also impacted, including marine turtles and certain species of tree.

Their website explains: “Wild plants and animals from tens of thousands of species are caught or harvested from the wild and then sold legitimately as food, pets, ornamental plants, leather, tourist ornaments and medicine.”

Prince William makes emotional new plea and demands urgent crackdown on 'heinous crime'

Prince William makes emotional new plea and demands urgent crackdown on ‘heinous crime’ (Image: Getty)

Giant Sumatran tiger lying on the ground in a tropical forest

Tigers are often hunted for their skin and bones to be traded illegally (Image: Getty)

The charity claims that wildlife trading is second only to habitat destruction in terms of its overall threat against the survival of many of the world’s most endangered animals.

For instance, in 2011, the Western Black rhinoceros was declared extinct, while the world’s tiger population have shrunk from 100,000 a century ago, to just 3,500 – both of which are considered to be consequences of illegal trading.

Meanwhile, African elephant populations are considered to be highly under threat, suffering a 60 percent decline at the start of this century, and with death rates placed higher than birth rates.

The Prince’s activism in working to stop the illegal wildlife trade also extends to other charities, such as the African conservation charity Tusk Trust, for which he has been Royal patron since 2005.

Mother and baby elephant walking on the savanna of Amboseli National Park, Kenya, Africa

Elephants are one of the most affected animals by the trade, dying faster than they are reproducing (Image: Getty)

“But we must remain focused on investing in nature and the environment, protecting it for future generations. We must not pass on the baton to our children and grandchildren, apologising for our lack of collective action. Instead, we must all do more to support those who support our natural world, often at great risk to themselves.”

He went on to pay tribute to the work of wildlife rangers who risk their lives to protect animals from poachers. At the ceremony there was also a roll call of rangers who had died in the course of duty in the year prior.

It is estimated that 1,000 rangers have been killed during anti-poaching operations in the last ten years.


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