Prince Harry was on an important trip to Kruger National Park, South Africa, and one of his duties was to highlight the effects of poaching.
The 31-year-old royal was both shocked and heartbroken to see the devastation that plagued the African safari. Prince Harry has shared his photos online with carcasses of animals on the brink of extinction. An example of which is the rhinoceros and the elephant, which are hunted for the ivory that makes up their horns. The ivory is a popular commodity in the black market.
He openly states his displeasure with what the poachers have done to disrupt the ecological balance in the region.
In one photo, he lies face down on a sedated elephant, strongly raising awareness about the issue. The outspoken prince captions each photo and chronicles the way poachers kill the animals.
Another photo shows Harry working to dehorn a rhino, a method to halt off poachers for a short period. Kruger has long been a battlefield between poachers and rangers, the animals continue to stand unknowingly in the line of fire.
“I was working with Dr. Mark Jago and Dr. Pete Morkel in Namibia. Some countries are de-horning small populations of rhino to deter poachers from shooting them. It is a short-term solution and surely no substitute for professional and well-trained rangers protecting these highly sought-after animals. De-horning has to be done every two years for it to be effective and can only realistically be done with small populations in open bush.”
Poaching is not something that is limited to South Africa. It is a problem that is spread around the whole world. While some poach for a living, even more poach for sport. The rhinoceros population continues to deplete as they continue to be targets. Also included on the critically endangered list is the lion, African elephant, and the white rhino.
Ultimately, Prince Harry doesn’t just want to shed light to the dangers of poaching for the animals but for the economy as well. It may be helping illegal businesses rake in more cash, but for the people of Africa, it is eating up their tourism and forcing many to result into poaching too, turning it to be a vicious cycle.
Hope, though, may just be around the corner for these animals as countries where the black market thrives, like the USA and China, are taking measures to stop the ivory trade. This is a first step in a long battle against poaching to decrease the demand and create a ripple effect with the supply.
We cannot turn a blind eye to these type of issues.
These aren’t just forms of destruction to the balance of the economy and the ecosystem, but first and foremost, this is also a raw example of severe animal cruelty. With the modernization of the world, we should be able to find answer to problems like this and not tolerate the increasing rate of endangered species. To have a prominent figure of society urge us to stop poaching is a big help in the conservation of not just the African wildlife but as well as the rest of the world.