Prince William has, once again, lammed into the illegal wildlife trade.
A new film, The Last Animals, shows the prince discussing the deaths of rangers trying to protect elephants and rhinos.
It is already working. China has reversed a controversial decision to lift a 25-year-old ban on the use of tiger and rhino parts in science and traditional medicine following pressure, including this film.
Three strict bans – the import and export of rhinos, tigers and their by-products, the sale, purchase, transport, carrying and mailing of rhinos, tigers and their by-products and the use of rhino horns and tiger bones in medicine – will remain in force, a senior official from the State Council, China’s cabinet, said in a statement
The Last Animals film, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017 and is now available on VOD in Canada, Australia, Ireland and the UK, documents the decimation of Africa’s wildlife by ruthless gangs and traces the killing from the savannahs of Africa to the consumers in Asia and around the world.
The Duke of Cambridge, who last month said it was “heartbreaking” that elephants, rhinos and tigers could be gone from the wild forever by the time his three children are grown up, appears in a segment of the film that explores the 2015 murders of a local army colonel and three rangers, all of whom were killed by poachers in Garamba Wildlife Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Over 1,000 rangers have been killed in the last 10 years. It makes you really angry. It makes you very sad,” William told filmmaker Kate Brooks. “We know where the wildlife are that are being poached. We know how the product is moved and we know where it ends up. You’ve got every possible bit of research and evidence you could need to fix this.”
“There’s no question that the Duke of Cambridge has played a critical role in raising awareness about the seriousness of this issue and also unified collective efforts through his passion and concern,” Brooks says.
As president of United for Wildlife, which brings together a coalition of campaigning groups, William has visited China and Vietnam to highlight the trade in areas where there is the most consumption. And he has spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping and former President Barack Obama about the issue. Despite this progress, China announced last week that it has partially lifted its 25 years trade ban on rhino horn for medicinal purposes.