Our beloved Prince Harry has been in the headlines in the past week as details and photos were released of his latest conservation operation in Africa. He’s out there on a three-month placement working alongside park rangers and alongside 400 armed park rangers in a bid to combat illegal game poachers.
Harry is understood to have joined Operation Corona, an anti-poaching campaign led by the African government, and has been taking part in armed night patrols with an army unit made up of several hundred serviceman, 400 armed rangers and local policemen. Having quit his job as an Apache helicopter pilot in the British Army earlier this year after an epic ten years in service, the fifth in line to the throne is reported to have declared that he has come to Africa ‘to be free.’
And boy, has Harry been living his African dream: walking about barefoot and even sleeping in the open on his bedroll by the campfire rather than in the safety of his tent. Having fallen in love with Africa as a child and counting The Lion King as one of his all-time favorite movies, Harry follows in his late mother’s footsteps by devoting the next chapter in his career to charity work and defending those in need of protection. Bless him!
‘This is a recce really,’ the Prince has explained. ‘I’m taking a lot of new information back home with me for my brother and me to analyse. We’re going to work out a strategy for doing more in Africa and to encourage new conservation initiatives.’ He comes to Africa accompanied by his two bodyguards, and is said to be ‘extremely gentle and capable’ according to those working closely with him.
As well as patrolling the parks to protect infant rhinos from poachers in Kruger National Park in South Africa, Harry has also been working with conservation teams in Namibia, tracking lions on the Palmwag Reserve. His hands-on work here has involved helping fix radio tracking collars to sedated lions – not for the faint-hearted! Working in a team of eight, Harry has relished the opportunity to be treated as an equal and has done his share of all group chores, including cooking and washing up. Harry’s days at Palmwag include rising at dawn before collecting spring water to brew tea over the campfire, frying eggs for breakfast and trekking out into the bush for a day’s work tracking lions. No doubt his extreme military training has come in useful here…
Harry’s new commitments mean he hasn’t seen his little niece, Princess Charlotte, since she was three weeks old. He missed her christening as he was already out in Africa and has joked that he’s a ‘bad uncle’ but explains that right now he’s where he really wants to be.
We’re in awe of Harry’s generous spirit and commitment to these beautiful, endangered species. Good on you, Harry!