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Prince Harry Shares Touching Instagram Post About Animal Poaching

12/02/2015 11:30 EST | Updated 12/02/2015 12:59 EST
Samir Hussein via Getty Images
KEMPIANA, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 02: Prince Harry is shown the carcass of a rhino slaughtered for its horn in Kruger National Park, during an official visit to Africa on December 2, 2015 in Kempiana, South Africa. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage)

Prince Harry spent the past summer fighting a war against animal poachers, and the prince isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet.

In an emotional post to the Kensington Royal Instagram account, the prince wrote about his most recent experience at Kruger National Park.

"How can it be that 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year alone? None of them had names, so do we not care? And for what? Their tusks?," he wrote beneath a photo of himself hugging a sedated elephant. "Seeing huge carcasses of rhinos and elephants scattered across Africa, with their horns and tusks missing is a pointless waste of beauty."

Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph... "After a very long day in Kruger National Park, with five rhinos sent to new homes and three elephants freed from their collars - like this sedated female - I decided to take a moment. I know how lucky I am to have these experiences, but hearing stories from people on the ground about how bad the situation really is, upset and frustrated me. How can it be that 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year alone? None of them had names, so do we not care? And for what? Their tusks? Seeing huge carcasses of rhinos and elephants scattered across Africa, with their horns and tusks missing is a pointless waste of beauty." Photograph © Prince Harry

A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on


The prince released six other photos from his summer adventure in southern Africa, including a personal caption and link to more information on each post.

The photos capture both the beauty and the horror that prince witnessed while working alongside conservationists and veterinarians.

In one photo, Harry proudly revealed that getting up close and personal with these endangered animals is a family affair. "My brother William fed her three years ago in Kent just before she left under a translocation project to Tanzania where she now lives in a sanctuary... I loved being able to send William this photo."

Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph... "This was the second time Zawadi, a female black rhino, met someone from my family. My brother William fed her three years ago in Kent just before she left under a translocation project to Tanzania where she now lives in a sanctuary. Thanks to the passion and stubbornness of Tony Fitzjohn OBE and his amazing rangers, she and many others are living it up in the bush and their numbers are growing. She goes nuts for carrots and I loved being able to send William this photo. Hats off to Tusk Trust." http://www.tusk.org/mkomazi-national-park Photograph ©Prince Harry

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In another, more graphic photo, Harry is seen assisting in a surgery on a black rhino whose face was mutilated by poachers. "I stared into her eyes while operating on her and thought at first that it would have been better and fairer to put her down rather than put her through the pain," the prince admitted.

Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph... "By this point many people will have heard of ‘Hope’, a young female black rhino that was brutally wounded by poachers in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This was the second operation to try to save this animal’s life. Some poachers use a dart gun and tranquilize the animal so as to not have to fire a shot that would be heard. They then hack their face off while the animal is paralysed before running off with the horn. Local communities saw her stumbling through the bush and then alerted the authorities. Thanks to Dr William Fowlds and his team, Hope survived and is making a speedy recovery. I stared into her eyes while operating on her and thought at first that it would have been better and fairer to put her down rather than put her through the pain. Afterwards I was told of another female called Thandi who was in a similar state in 2012. She now has a baby calf called Thembi." Every single rhino matters. If you want to help have a look at: www.wildernessFoundation.co.za Photograph ©Prince Harry

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The prince also revealed that the rhino survived the attack and is getting better every day.

Harry's dedication to the fight against animal poaching has brought to light past images of the prince posing over a buffalo he shot during a hunt in 2004. The prince and his brother William reportedly also went hunting at their godfather's Spanish estate in 2014. The Independent reports that the princes shot wild boar, stag and partridge, none of which are endangered or illegal to hunt.

Both elephants and black rhinos are considered endangered species in Africa. The fate of the black rhino is of utmost concern to conversationalists, who say the species' population is critically low at only 5,000 animals.


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