Prince William’s trip to China ended in controversy when he visited Yunnan Province, where he was supposed to highlight his campaign against the trade of endangered wildlife and promote preservation of endangered species. As Prince William toured inside the animal sanctuary, he was not aware that many elephants were chained in nearby enclosures, Sky News reported.
According to the report, elephants in the animal sanctuary wore goggles while sitting and balancing on small stools. Some were taught to kick footballs for the enjoyment of tourists. Visitors can also ride on the back or on the trunks of the elephants, which were taught to entertain guests for an hour, twice a day.
Animal rights advocates who have spoken with Sky News said using animals for entertainment is wrong, highlighting that they should be in the wild.
When Prince William was spotted having a photo taken with an elephant, others were inside enclosures “less than a mile away with their legs shackled,” Sky News reported.
The irony was that Prince William was passionate about his objections against illegal wildlife trade.
“It is appalling that elephants and many others may be extinct in the wild in our lifetimes, and we seem to be hurtling towards the tragic outcome. The extinction of animals such as elephants, rhinos and pangolins would be an immeasurable loss to the whole of humanity,” Prince William told press.
After his speech, Sky News asked the Duke of Cambridge if he knew many elephants are being used to entertain tourists within a mile from where he was. Prince William reportedly refused to respond and simply turned away.
Prince William’s Visit Boosts China-UK Relations
According to a report from China’s CCTV channel, Prince William’s visit to China was successful in promoting British innovation and championing his battle against illegal trade in wildlife. His campaign was highlighted by his visit to the elephant sanctuary in Yunnan province, CCTV reported.
Prince William’s visit has also reiterated business and cultural ties with China. The UK had been China’s biggest European destination for international investment. His visit had also promoted goodwill between the Chinese and the British, the CCTV report said.