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Prince Harry has been pictured working in the African bush helping wildlife conservationists move hundreds of elephants huge distances to new homes.
Prince Harry has been pictured working in the African bush helping wildlife conservationists move hundreds of elephants huge distances to new homes.

Harry spent almost three weeks during the summer working on the ambitious 500 Elephants initiative in the southern African nation of Malawi and described being around the creatures as a “unique experience”.
The animals are being moved 200 miles (322km) across the country from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where the elephants will be able to thrive.

The project is being organised by African Parks, a conservation NGO that manages protected areas and national parks on behalf of governments, which released a video showing Harry at work with their conservationists.

In the footage, Harry says: “They need to be moved to another place and this is the most efficient and least invasive way of being able to do it. I can tell you after three weeks there is zero stress on these animals and they’re going from one beautiful place to another beautiful place.”

As scenes of elephants wandering free are shown, the Prince says: “Elephants – that’s one of the cores of Africa, you can’t imagine anywhere like this existing without elephants.

“People can connect with them but one of the fears (is the) overcrowding of elephants and wondering where we are going to put all of these animals.

“In some countries the numbers are dropping unbelievably quickly, in other countries you’ve got almost too many – there’s this weird imbalance.”

As footage is shown of Harry and five other conservationists trying to capture an elephant by holding onto a rope tied around its leg, he says: “So organisations like this need to constantly come up with new methods to move theses animals, to care for them, to make sure these places are looked after, and this is a challenge, this is a huge task.

When images are screened of animals being driven away on the backs of flatbed lorries, he adds: “It’s amazing to see such unbelievable creatures being moved in a way you could never even dream of.”

In another sequence, the Prince, wearing a cap, khaki shirt with the sleeves rolled up and jeans, puts a strap around an elephant’s leg and later he is seen helping to guide an anaesthetised animal to the ground with others and then stroking a sedated elephant on a lorry.

He adds: “To be with elephants – such a massive beast – is a unique experience.”

Pointing to a huge trailer, Harry says: “In a weird way they know we’re here to help, otherwise in the wake-up box it would be a completely different story and they’re so calm, they’re so relaxed.”

The Prince helped with the first phase of the translocation when 261 elephants were successfully re-homed in Nkhotakota. The remaining 239 elephants will be moved during the second phase, which will occur in the summer of 2017.

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