Rhino Rescue

06.19.125:09 AM ET

William Attacks 'Selfish and Ignorant' Rhino Poachers

Three rhino will have armed guards in Africa
LYMPNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 06:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge feeds a 5 year old black rhino called Zawadi as he visits Port Lympne Wild Animal Park on June 6, 2012 in Port Lympne, England. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was visiting the park to meet staff and rhinos involved in a translocation project. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The three black rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge feeds a 5 year old black rhino called Zawadi (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Prince William spoke out against wildlife poachers on BBC breakfast television this morning, lending his support to a programme which has just returned three rare black rhino born in captivity and raised in Kent, England to the wild in Tanzania.

LYMPNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 16:  Head keeper Paul Beer saws off the end of a rhino called Zawadi's horn (to protect it during transit) in Port Lympne Animal Park ahead of its translocation to Tanzania on June 16, 2012 in Port Lympne, England. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals, Grumeti, Monduli and Zawadi are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The three black rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Head keeper Paul Beer saws off the end of a rhino called Zawadi's horn to protect the animal during transit (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

The three rhino, raised by conservation charity the Aspinall Foundation, will be guarded full-time by armed guards to protect them from poachers. Rhino horn can fetch up to $60,000 per kilo on the black market.

Demand is driven by a market in Asia, where it is believed powdered rhino horn can cure ailments including cancers - despite no scientific evidence to back this up.

William Attacks 'Selfish and Ignorant' Rhino Poachers

"Along with elephants, they're two of the most heavily poached animals currently in the world," Prince William, who is patron of the charity Tusk Trust, told the BBC. He said those who took part in the trade were "extremely ignorant, selfish and utterly wrong".

LYMPNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 06:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge feeds a black rhino called Zawadi as he visits Port Lympne Wild Animal Park on June 6, 2012 in Port Lympne, England. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was visiting the park to meet staff and rhinos involved in a translocation project. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The three black rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals were airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Poachers are killing more rhinos in Africa than ever before. 245 black rhino have been killed this year out of a remaining population of about 4,500. 13 black rhino were killed in South Africa in 2007, compared with 434 in 2011.

Prince William said: "There's a massive need for education on poaching... rhinos are very vulnerable animals and I think a lot of people don't realise what happens and how rhino horn, or ivory, ends up in a particular area.”

As he fed Zawadi, a five-year-old female now in Tanzania, Prince William explained that his love of rhino stemmed from his time helping to hand rear them at a friend's reserve in Kenya. Max, one of the rhino he helped rear, was killed just this year by poachers in an act he described as a "complete waste".

LYMPNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 06:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge poses with 5 year old black rhino called Zawadi and BBC's Kate Silverton as he visits Port Lympne Wild Animal Park on June 6, 2012 in Port Lympne, England. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge was visiting the park to meet staff and rhinos involved in a translocation project. The Aspinall Foundation along with the Tusk Trust and the George Adamson Trust are combining forces to stage a rare translocation of three captive born black rhino to Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in order to rejuvenate numbers of the black rhino in the area. The three animals are being airlifted in a dedicated DHL Boeing 757 from Manston Airport in Kent direct to Kilimanjaro Int Airport in Tanzania. The three black rhino have been donated by Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, from their breeding group at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent. The reintroduction of endangered species to the wild to assist breeding programmes is a major focus of The Aspinall Foundation. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Patron of Tusk Trust and a dedicated campaigner against poaching visited the rhinos at Port Lympne ahead of their translocation and today released a speech via the BBC highlighting his dedication to the fight against the illegal trade of ivory. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

"Sadly he ran into the wrong people and he is now on someone's mantelpiece somewhere probably," he said.

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