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Prince William Brings Wildlife Preservation Campaign to Vietnam

by Raphael Chestang 6:50 PM PST, November 17, 2016
Playing Prince William Brings Wildlife Preservation Campaign to Vietnam

During a trip to Vietnam, Prince William took time to spread awareness about the consequences of illegal wildlife trade.

While many of the animals who fall victim to poaching are actually from Africa, Vietnam is one of the main countries for trafficking wildlife products, including rhino horn, which is used in traditional medicines.

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During a visit to Hong Ha Primary School, where many of the students' parents work in traditional medicine, the Duke of Cambridge educated the children on the lack of proof that the ivory of a rhino's horn has significant medical benefits, and spoke on how detrimental poaching is for the survival of the species.

He later stopped by a traditional medicine store to chat with a local pharmacist about eliminating rhino horns and other products in medicine.

In an impassioned speech at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade on Thursday, Prince William urged delegates that "we are still falling behind," despite all their efforts to clamp down on illegal wildlife trade.

"A betting man would still bet on extinction," he said. "We know now what previous generations did not - ivory treated as a commodity is the fuel of extinction. Ivory is not something to be desired and when removed from an elephant it is not beautiful. So, the question is, why are we still trading it? We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent."

William noted that China and the U.S. have already instituted bans on such activities and that the U.K. is "considering it."

Last week, Vietnamese authorities burned more than two tons of elephant ivory and rhino horns worth more than $7 million seized from the black market. William praised the country for their strong gesture.

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"Since then we have seen unprecedented partnership between African governments to work together to fight poaching through the Elephant Protection Initiative," he said.

After the short trip, Kensington Palace shared photos of the visit along with a message.

"The Duke thanks the people of Vietnam for their hospitality," they wrote. "We will see you again soon!"

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