Harry's heroic summer holiday: Prince's epic trip to save 500 endangered elephants from evil poachers in the heart of Africa is revealed in new photographs
- Prince spent summer in southern Africa for a project to move 500 elephants 200 miles to a sanctuary
- Conservation work in Malawi was to protect animals in danger of death from overcrowding and starvation
- He helped migrate the mammals to a new park has room for the giant animals to breed and restore numbers
- Prince, who also released film, spent three months with anti-poaching teams in Africa last year
Prince Harry has released photographs and videos of him taking part in one of the world’s biggest conversation projects this summer, including shots of him spraying identification marks on a tranquilised animal.
The prince, who has often spoken of how he would like to walk away from his royal duties to live in Africa and work on such projects permanently, spent three weeks in Malawi over the summer where he worked alongside volunteers, vets and experts on the frontline of one of the largest and most significant elephant translocations.
One of the pictures was taken by the 32-year-old royal himself, and shows a volunteer trying to get a bull elephant to lie down.
In another Harry explains how he marked several of the young males so that they will be easily identifiable when released back into the bush. ‘The spray paint disappears after a few days,’ the prince explained.
Royal visit: Prince Harry spent his July holidays helping save the African elephant in Malawi, pictured, spraying one sedated animal being moved to a £1million new home
Efforts: Kensington Palace has releaeed new photographs today showing the prince helping move around 500 elephants to a wildlife reserve
Aid: Harry and a group of workers trying to ‘tip’ a young male elephant that was trying to fight the sedative drug and head for the trees
In a video, narrated by the prince, he added: ‘Elephants are one of the cores of Africa. You can’t imagine anywhere like this existing without elephants. ‘
Artistic: Harry took a photograph of this magnificent beast set to be moved around 200 miles to a new home
A third shows Harry with a group of workers trying to ‘tip’ a young male elephant that was trying to fight the sedative drug and head for the trees.
Harry can also be seen hanging onto a rope for dear life as a powerful bull elephant tries to free itself.
The prince writes: 'This big bull (male) elephant refused to lie down after it had been darted with a tranquiliser. After about seven minutes the drug began to take effect and the elephant became semi-comatose, but it continued to shuffle for a while! They have a tendency to hone in on forest, rivers and people when in this state. Here we are trying to slow him down!’
Up to 500 elephants are being moved over 350 kilometres across Malawi from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where the elephants will be able to thrive.
In a statement Harry said: ‘Elephants simply can't roam freely like they used to, without coming into conflict with communities, or being threatened by poaching and persecution.
‘There has to be a balance between the numbers of animals, and the available habitat. Just how nature intended it.
‘Human populations in Southern Africa have increased annually by an average of 1.16% from 1960 to today, from 73milion to 320million.
‘There is no question at all that Africa’s wildlife will be increasingly susceptible to growing human populations and their requirements for land. ‘
He added: ‘To allow the coexistence of people and animals, fences are increasingly having to be used to separate the two, and try to keep the peace. Once a fence is up, you are now managing a parcel of land. Different rules have to apply whether we like it or not.
‘Under these conditions human intervention in stabilising nature might be required by park managers.
‘In this case, African Parks, in partnership with the Malawian government, have re-established a safe area for elephants to be moved back to. This simultaneously relieves the pressure in Liwonde, and restocks Nkhotakota so both populations of Elephants can continue to grow.
‘If the re-balance doesn't take place, human wildlife conflict will increase and elephants will degrade their habitat. We're then back to having to consider the worst – reducing herds by culling.’
Message: Harry explained that conservation work was needed to move 500 elephants 200 miles to a sanctuary
Stuck in: Harry, pictured helping load an animal on to a truck, said: ‘There is no question at all that Africa’s wildlife will be increasingly susceptible to growing human populations and their requirements for land‘
Effort: Harry hauling on a rope as up to 500 elephants are being moved over 350 kilometres across Malawi from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where the elephants will be able to thrive
Passion: In the video, narrated by the prince, he added: ‘Elephants are one of the cores of Africa. You can’t imagine anywhere like this existing without elephants. ‘
In the accompanying video Harry says of the elephant: ‘People can connect with them.’
He adds of the problem facing Southern Africa’s elephant population: ‘In some countries the numbers are dropping unbelievably quickly and in others there are too many. There’s this weird imbalance.
‘It’s amazing to see such unbelievable creatures being moved in a way you could never even dream of. To be with elephants, such massive beasts, is a unique experience. In a weird way they know we are here to help…they are so calm and so relaxed. ‘They need to be moved to a different place so this is the most efficient and least invasive way of doing it.’
He added: ‘Elephants are one of the cores of Africa. You can’t imagine anywhere like this existing without elephants'.
The overall picture for elephants in Africa is deeply alarming - due to poaching, habitat loss and human wildlife conflict, numbers are being decimated.
The need to manage and protect those herds which are thriving has become more acute, to ensure there is hope of securing the future of Africa's elephants.
In pockets where elephant populations outgrow their surroundings they can come into conflict with local communities, or find that vegetation is unable to sustain the population.
A balance between the number of animals and the available habitat is required to help relieve pressure in areas like Liwonde.
By moving herds into safe parks like Nkhotakota, it is hoped that the pressure on existing habitats will be reduced, and the population of elephants will continue to grow.
Taking part in this project, Prince Harry was keen to get experience on the front line of conservation, and learn more about the issues affecting wildlife in Africa, aides said.
‘He wanted to release the video and photographs, to which he has written personal captions, to draw attention to this important work, and the incredible scale and ambition of the 500 elephants project,’ a spokesman said.
Devotion: Prince Harry has been a devoted conservationist and spent three months embedded with an anti-poaching patrol in southern Africa last year (pictured). He posted this heartbreaking picture near the end of the tour
Frontline: The 31-year-old royal brings valuable field experience from last year’s three months embedded with bush vets and an anti-poaching teams, gaining a host of hands-on skills. Above, he helps treat a rhinocerous last summer
Once they are sedated and recorded, the elephants are revived with injections in ‘wake-up’ crates and cattle prods are used to herd them onto flatbed trucks for the day-long journey to their new home
An elephant is lifted by a crane in an upside down position in Malawi, in the first step of an assisted migration of 500 of the threatened species. The animal is unconscious and will wake up unharmed
In all Harry spent almost three weeks on the ground in Malawi with African Parks, a conservation NGO that manages protected areas and national parks on behalf of governments, where he served as part of the expert team and helped implement the first phase of ‘500 Elephants’.
Harry assisted with the first phase of the translocation during which 261 elephants were successfully re-homed in Nkhotakota. The remaining 239 elephants will be moved at a later date.
‘We are thrilled to have Prince Harry serve as an integral part of our translocation team,’ said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks.
‘He has extensive field experience and was extremely comfortable with the animals, whether helping an anesthetized elephant to the ground and monitoring its breathing to affixing radio collars. He played a vital role in many aspects of this giant operation which requires not only all hands on deck, but a vigilance he exudes, and a commitment to the cause he embodies.’
Along with moving elephants, Prince Harry assisted with translocating a male rhino, a host of game species including antelope, buffalo, and zebra, and he facilitated in re-collaring three lions in Majete with GPS collars to monitor and better protect them.
Numbering as many as 10,000,000 a century ago, recent census results indicate that African elephants have been reduced to fewer than 450,000.
With between 30,000 to 40,000 elephants being poached every year to feed the insatiable demand for ivory, their long-term survival at risk.
Most watched News videos
- Moment furious motorist pulls out HAND GUN during road rage
- Adorable twin sisters tell dad off in hilarious hunger rant
- Dog is stunned to find her Gumby chew toy is REAL
- Shocking moment evil cat makes toddler trip with furry paw
- Heart-stopping footage captures attempt to avoid horror crash
- Shocking moment Kumbuka tries to smash glass at London Zoo
- Is this the creepy moment the corpse of a girl OPENS her eyes?
- Chimpanzee befriends an adorable kitten in Russian zoo
- 'NO CHRIS!' moment Chris Hansen recognized by sexual predator
- Terrified passengers panic, scream & push their way off death plane
- Hilarious moment man sings his McDonald's order and they sing back
- Unsettling moment 'poltergeist' disturbs clairvoyant's TV show