Prince William is 'appalled' after poachers butcher his friend's hand-reared rhino Max for his horn


Prince William has been left 'appalled' by the slaughter of his friend's rhino which was killed by poachers for his prized horn.
Endangered white rhinoceros Max was shot 17 times and had his horn hacked off by hunters in Kenya.
Despite rangers removing most of his horn as a protective measure against poachers, he was hunted for the small piece still remaining.
Six-year-old Max, who was featured in the documentary Last Chance To See, had been hand-reared by Ian Craig - the father of Prince William's ex-girlfriend Jecca.
Mr Craig owns the Lewa wildlife reserve in Kenya but the animal had been moved to the Ol Pejeta sanctuary after he reached adulthood, which is where the killing took place.

Shocked: The Duke of Cambridge was said to be 'appalled' at the 'senseless' killing

In 2001 the Duke of Cambridge spent six weeks volunteering at Mr Craig's conservation project and he met Max several times on later trips to Africa.
It was after his seeing Mr Craig's work with rhinos that Prince William became a patron of the Tusk Trust, which works to protect the animals.
A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The Duke of Cambridge is appalled to hear about this senseless slaughter. He remains very concerned about rhino and elephant poaching and has asked Tusk Trust to keep him updated on this issue in Africa.'

Slaughtered: Max, who was hand-reared by Prince William's friend Ian Craig, was found shot and with his horn cut out

Butchered: Despite the fact that most of Max's prized horn had already been removed to protect him from poachers, he was killed for the remainder of it

Poachers kill rhino for their horns, which sell for £40,00 a kilo in Asia where it is wrongly believed to cure cancer.
Charlie Mayhew, co-founder of the Tusk Trust, said: 'Max's slaughter by poachers is a shocking illustration of what is now happening the length and breadth of Africa to meet the growing demand for rhino horn in China and Vietnam.
'The fact that this rhino had been hand reared at Lewa meant that many visitors to Lewa including our Royal Patron had the opportunity to get extremely close to him. It of course makes it all the more shocking and sad when you know the individual animal that has been poached.

Conservation work: Prince William with Tusk Trust co-founder Charlie Mayhew in the making of the 2001 television programme Prince William's Africa

'When Max grew up, he was moved to another sanctuary where he was killed.
'The Prince has taken a very close interest in the escalation of rhino and elephant poaching and it is something he feels passionate about trying to halt this illegal trade.'
Mr Mayhew added that the problem of rhino-poaching was now 'pan-Africa' and said that one reserve he spent time at in Zimbabwe had lost six rhinos so far this year.

Growing problem: Rhino-poaching is now 'pan-Africa' and one reserve in Zimbabwe has lost six rhinos so far this year

He said: 'Last year in South Africa alone they were losing on average a rhino every 20 hrs to poachers. This year South Africa has already lost more than 70.
'It is a real crisis and one that Tusk along with a number of other organisations is desperately trying to tackle. Last year Tusk invested substantial funds to help bolster security at rhino sanctuaries such as Lewa.'

Hand-reared: Max with a keeper before his shocking death

Six-year-old Max, had been hand-reared by Ian Craig, whose daughter Jecca Craig, left, is one of Prince William's ex-girlfriends

source: dailymail