Prince William speaks out against illegal wildlife trade

The Duke urged those in power to eradicate the senseless killing of elephants and rhinos.
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Prince William is giving a voice to animals who can’t speak up for themselves.

The Duke of Cambridge has given a keynote address at Tusk’s Time for Change event in London, urging world leaders to step up and crush the illegal ivory trade threatening the elephant population.

He used little Princess Charlotte’s life to explain to onlookers how fast the poaching is wiping out the majestic animals.

“When I was born, there were one million elephants roaming Africa,” the royal father of two explained.

“By the time my daughter Charlotte was born last year, the numbers of savanna elephants had crashed to just 350,000.

“And at the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25 the African elephant will be gone from the wild.”

When Charlotte turns 25, Prince William says the world’s elephants may be gone.

But the 34-year-old stressed that it wasn’t just elephants who were in danger of being wiped out.

“The risk is not just to elephants. Today is World Rhino Day. A species that, due to demand for its horn, is being killed at a rate of nearly three animals a day,” he told the audience.

“Rhinos face extinction in our lifetimes as we struggle to correct lies about the supposed benefits of using its horn as a drug.”

Prince William pleaded for an end to the rhino horn poaching trade too.

The Duke of Cambridge also took the opportunity to educate others on how the wildlife trade actually affects humans too.

“Some of the world’s poorest people will suffer when their natural resources are stripped from them illegally and brutally,” William explained.

“It is families in the world’s most vulnerable regions who suffer when two rangers are killed every week on the frontline of this fight. It is fragile democratic systems in many nations that are at risk from the scourge of violence and corruption that the illegal wildlife trade fuels,” he said.

Prince William gave an impassioned speech at the Tusk event.

The future king then made it clear he was willing to stand up and fight for the cause.

“I am not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear from the wild,” he said in a powerful moment of his speech.

“I am not prepared to explain to our children why we lost this battle when we had the tools to win… I fear we will not know what we have lost until it has gone.

“But there is hope – we can do something. There is huge momentum building from governments, businesses, conservationists, and the public to take the steps required to stop the killing.”

Duchess Catherine is also extremely fond of the majestic creatures.

Prince William also revealed he will be travelling to Vietnam to attend the third Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in November.

He said as people gathered at that event, they had “the chance to seize a huge opportunity”.

William announced he would be travelling to Vietnam to continue the cause.

“We have the opportunity to end, once and for all, the mixed messages we have sent for too long about the value and desirability of wildlife products,” Prince William said.

“Now is the chance to send an unambiguous message to the world that it is no longer acceptable to buy and sell ivory, rhino horn or other illegal wildlife products.

“Indeed I would challenge anyone who knows the truth of how these wildlife products are obtained, to justify desiring them.

“Materialistic greed cannot be allowed to win against our moral duty to protect threatened species and vulnerable communities.”

Watch as William talks about how he’s teaching little Prince George about wildlife conservation in the clip below!

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