Africa is a place close to both Prince William and Prince Harry‘s hearts, and is the very place that Prince Charles took them after the death of their mother Princess Diana in 1997, in a bid to help them with their grief. Harry in particular is a regular visitor to Botswana, and they will both no doubt be devastated to hear about the country’s decision to lift the ban on elephant hunting, which was announced on Thursday. The ban first came about in 2014 by former president Ian Khama, but lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic party have been lobbying to overturn the ban because they believe that the number of animals have become unmanageable in some areas.
Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, and have over 100,000 roaming freely in the country’s unfenced parks and open spaces. Harry was recently pictured tending to one during his first trip there with the Duchess of Sussex in 2017. The pair went to work with Elephants Without Borders – a charity which helps prevent elephants from being poached and killed for their ivory tusks.
Sharing the photo on Instagram, the royals wrote in the caption: “Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Botswana to assist Dr. Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders in equipping a bull elephant with a satellite collar. Approximately 100 elephants are poached/killed every day for their ivory tusks. The elephant pictured was sedated for just 10 minutes before he was up and back with his herd. Tracking his movements has allowed conservationists to better protect him and other elephants and ensure heightened protection for these beautiful creatures moving forward.”
Harry has also worked closely with Africa Parks, and helped with their 500 Elephants relocation project, where he spent three weeks in Malawi to help safely translocate elephants into safe environments during the summer of 2016. William, meanwhile, is the Royal Patron of charity Tusk Trust, a British organisation that works to protect African wildlife, including African elephants.The future King is also the President of United for Wildlife and has spoken regularly about wanting to preserve endangered species for future generations, including his own three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.