02.13.14 6:49 PM ET
Harry Leaps To William's Aid
Call it a charm offensive.
Prince Harry today came to his brother’s aid, sitting alongside him and their father Prince Charles at an anti-poaching conference as the young royals sought to draw a line under their idiotically-timed hunting trip to Spain this weekend, which took place on the same day as Prince William launched a new anti-poaching initiative.
Today, the brothers sought to turn to the focus back on the horrifying scale of the illegal wildlife trade which is decimating African livestock.
Prince Charles also announced a plan to ‘follow the money’ in an effort to strip wildlife poachers of their ill-gotten gains.
The statistics reeled off at today’s conference were certainly horrifying; more than 1,000 rhinos and 25,000 elephants were killed by poachers across Africa in 2013 as a result of the illegal trade, which is worth £11billion a year.
With his sons the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry by his side, Charles praised leaders and foreign government ministers for meeting at Lancaster House in London to address the issue.
He said: "Today, if I may say so, you are breaking new ground by coming together and committing - at high levels never before seen at a conference on this topic - to take urgent action to put a stop to this trade, which has become a grave threat not only to the wildlife and the people who protect them, but also to the security of nations."
He added: "Next month, I hope it will be possible to convene a meeting to encourage governments, banks, accounting firms, security agencies and others to make greater use of financial tools to tackle organised crime engaged in the illegal wildlife trade.”
Due to soaring demand for Chinese medicines that are supposed to make men more virile and be a panacea for all ills, the retail price of rhino horn has soared from around $4,700 per kilogram in 1993 to around $65,000 in 2012.
The western black rhino was declared extinct in 2011. There are only 5,000 black rhino and 20,000 white rhino left, the vast majority of which are in South Africa and Namibia.