#ShockWildlifeTruths: 'We have 5 - 10 years left to save the rhino' - Prince William

2016-03-17 16:30 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - Prince William has launched a new anti-poaching initiative after saying in an UK interview that the world has five to 10 years to save the rhino, of face failing as the protectors of this natural heritage on Earth. 

The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a declaration at Buckingham Palace involving leading figures from conservation charities, airlines and shipping organisations. Members of International Air Transport Association (IATA) signed a declaration aimed at reducing the illegal trafficking of wildlife and underlining the aviation industry’s commitment to sustainability.

IATA says the interconnected air transport network is being exploited by criminal gangs to smuggle animals or their products from the killing field to the market place.

#ShockWildlifeTruths: Airlines unite for wildlife

The aim is to tackle these smugglers moving endangered animal parts in what is the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, people smuggling and arms dealing.

Speaking to ITV's Mark Austin, Prince William issued his gravest warning yet, saying the rhino is dangerously close to extinction. He said it would be "devastating for humanity" and future generations if the animals continue to be slaughtered and become permanent victims of aggressive poaching gangs.

The prince, who is the president of United for Wildlife and patron of the Tusk Trust, called for a "dramatic change" in how rhinos are protected to prevent the species being lost forever.

If we haven’t achieved something in the next five to 10 years then we will be almost impossible to do anything after that," he said.

You can watch the interview here: 'We Have 5 - 10 Years To Save The Rhino' - Prince William

In August last year, Prince William's brother Harry visited South Africa in a bid to raise awareness about rhino conservation. Prince Harry is known to be more actively involved in wildlife protection. 

According to the African Conservation Experience, the Prince visited the Khulula Care, a volunteer-based wildlife centre focused on the care of orphaned rhinos. During his time in SA, he was also part of a poaching shoot-out in the Kruger National Park, in which eight poachers were apprehended

During a conservation debate in South Africa, Prince Harry also made headlines when he said that he believes legalisation of the rhino horn trade will "accelerate the path to extinction" for the threatened species.

Prince Harry's brother has also now joined the plight for the rhinos with the new anti-poaching initiative. 

Prince Will also condemned trophy hunting at the announcement of the initiative, and revealed that he's trying to rid palaces of ivory. He says "There is a place for commercial hunting in Africa as there is round the world," but this shouldn't be at the expense of species as a whole. 

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