In the world of British royals, it’s Prince Harry who has the reputation for hard partying, but at the end of the day, this guy knows what’s important, and he uses his status to call attention to injustices and acts of evil. On his fourth day of his visit to Africa, Prince Harry visited Kruger National Park in South Africa. He was distraught to see rhinoceroses and elephants killed, their tusks missing, and chose to bring attention to the widespread problem of poaching in a sensitive, heartbreaking Instagram post:
Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph… “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
This is far from the first time Harry has posted about poaching on the Kensington Royal Instagram account. His visit to South Africa has been filled with caring for animals who are fighting for their lives after having their tusks stolen and sustaining serious wounds. Harry has also been involved in “de-tusking” certain animals so that they will be undesirable to poachers who hunt them for their ivory.
Earlier this year, Prince Harry saw the wasted carcass of a rhino left to die on the savannah after it had been killed for its tusks, and was nearly speechless at the sight. But it did move him to action, as he proclaimed, “But these people will be caught.”
And not only is Prince Harry working to save animals, but he’s working to catch the poachers themselves. The Daily Mail reports that the prince was upset when seeing the damage poachers had caused, and that he said, “There’s good evidence there though, we have a water bottle and cartridges so we’re confident we will catch them.”
Harry was also shown cigarette butts the poachers had left on the ground, which are likely to carry DNA. DNA sampling subsequently took place. He also showed his knowledge of the subject, saying, “You have to try to get to the carcass a quickly as possible to suck up all the evidence before the wilds of Africa take it…It’s always a race against time.”
He also noted that these particular poachers “seem a bit sloppy compared to the other guys.”
Prince Harry’s trip to South Africa will conclude in another three days. Today, we’re reminded of the reality of animal cruelty, and are grateful to Prince Harry for working to help care for the animals killed and wounded by poachers, and for being determined to catch the culprits.