Prince William angry over rhino trade

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, feeds a 5-year-old black rhino called Zawadi. Photo / AP
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, feeds a 5-year-old black rhino called Zawadi. Photo / AP

Prince William has called for an end to the illegal trade in rhino horns, describing poachers as "ignorant and selfish" and warning of the animals' extinction.

"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," William said in a rare BBC interview.

Along with elephants, rhinos were the most heavily poached animals in the world.

"If we don't do something about them it's going to be a tragic loss for everyone," he said.

Prince William, who is the royal patron of the wildlife charity Tusk Trust, said poachers were killing more rhinos in Africa than ever before, with horns fetching up to $60,000 per kilogram on the black market. Nearly 250 black rhinos have already been shot this year.

He said that those taking part in the illegal trade were "extremely ignorant, selfish and utterly wrong".

Demand for rhino horn powder is particularly strong in South-East Asian countries, where the substance is perceived as having medicinal properties. Black market prices can exceed that of gold, said the BBC report.

-AAP

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