Prince Harry has said that saving wild animals in Africa is “God’s test” for humanity. In an interview with Town & Country, a US magazine, he also called for a new body to take control of everyone who owns or manages wildlife.
Wildlife managers should not only be rated on how they look after the animals, but for how they help the local communities, he said.
The prince spoke to the magazine while he was working on a conservation project in Malawi last year.
Talking about the importance of conservation parks, he said: “These are very special places, but they are islands with a sea of people around them. I do worry. I think everyone should worry. We need to look after them, because otherwise our children will not have a chance to see what we have seen. This is God’s test: If we can’t save some animals in a wilderness area, what else can’t we do?”
Harry was working on an elephant relocation project run by African Parks.
Talking of the need to protect wildlife, he said: “I do believe we need a regulatory body so that everyone who owns or manages wildlife is subject to inspection and rated on how well they look after the animals and how the communities benefit. We have to come together.”
He also described how he wished he could spend more time in Africa. “I first came in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags — we were going to Africa to get away from it all.
“This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I wish I could spend more time in Africa. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here. To not get recognised, to lose myself in the bush with what I would call the most down-to-earth people on the planet, people [dedicated to conservation] with no ulterior motives, no agendas, who would sacrifice everything for the betterment of nature.”