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Prince William Now Royal Advocate for Endangered Animals

After seven years of military service as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, Prince William, is embracing a new role as an advocate for endangered species  - with an African focus. At a time when so many species teeter on the threshold of extinction, having the high profile prince join the ranks of those advocating for animal welfare and conservation is welcome news.

Prince William says his passion for Africa was ignited by his mother, the late Princess Diana: “She would come back with all these stories…full of excitement and just passion for what she had been doing and I sort of used to sit there, quite a surprised little boy at the time, taking it all in,” William recalled to CNN’s Max Foster in a recent interview.

The Prince’s connection to Africa extends beyond his mother’s magical stories to his own personal experiences. He has traveled to the continent himself quite extensively and even proposed to Katherine in the African bush (as the English like to say).

Interestingly, when he has suffered a particularly difficult day, he turns to the sounds and pictures of Africa to calm himself down. “I regularly daydream,”ť William admitted. “Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. For instance, I have hundreds of animals on my iPhone. So, if I have had a quite stressful day, I will always put a buffalo on in the background or, you know, a cricket or something like that. It takes you back instantly to the bush and it does completely settle me down.”

The Black Rhino which is one the world’s most endangered species has a special place in Prince William’s heart. “This is an international problem that needs to be faced,” he laments. “It’s hard to put into words the depth of sadness that I would feel if [black rhinos] went extinct.”

 

 

As a new father, he is particularly saddened by the idea that children like his son born today could grow up in a world where Black Rhinos would only exist in picture books and our imagination: “It is unfathomable to imagine [that] children who have been born in the past couple of months may grow up in a world in which rhinoceros have ceased to live in the wild.”

Prince William is already putting his words into action by becoming a royal patron of the Tusk Trust and establishing the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa. William has been a royal patron of the Tusk Trust since 2005. The foundation’s mission is to “secure a peaceful co-existence for Africa’s wildlife and its people.”

Last week, the prince filmed a public service announcement for the non-profit organization Wild Aid, imploring people not to buy illegal wildlife products.

He is also working with a consortium of conservation groups and exploring how he can leverage his royal position and fame to best help endangered animals.

 

 

“William’s passion,” commented Max Foster, host of CNN, “is driven by the realization that unless he and others like him stand up for the wildlife of Africa, much of it could be lost forever.”

**The above picture of Prince William with reward recipient, Tom Lalampaa of Kenya, is from Prince William’s personal Facebook page (yes, in the year 2013, even Princes have Facebook pages!).**

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

197 comments

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12:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Thank you

8:00AM PDT on May 21, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

5:27PM PST on Feb 23, 2014

It's sad that he's such a hypocrite. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26105706 The prince says he wants to help animals and goes on a hunting trip. Why do people who have so much power to do good instead do wrong? :(

6:41AM PST on Jan 1, 2014

What a FINE man

7:11PM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

This is an excellent use of royal influence. Helps undo the damage caused by his own ancestors, too.

4:55PM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

It would be great if he could devote some of the royal stockpile to the cause

2:36PM PDT on Sep 28, 2013

Good for him. With his high profile, he can do a lot of good.

9:12AM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Others should follow in his footst.. kudos

8:14PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thank you Cherise for a good article about an important subject, I like the idea that he wants to do something to help wildlife all over the world particularly endangered in Africa. I know with his position he can accomplish a lot for the causes. I enjoyed reading all of the 188 comments from the care 2 members on the subject.

10:16AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

There are so, so many famous people who speak on what they believe. I think this is awesome, but I feel that it makes no difference if people believe or not. Their opinions can't be changed because of how a famous person feels. Just saying.

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