Malawi President Peter Mutharika has commended United Kingdom’s Prince Harry for his commitment to wildlife conservation.
Mutharika said this in a brief statement he posted on his official Instragram page after he had an audience with Prince Harry who has been in Malawi since July 27 on a private visit that among other things is intended to promote the country’s wildlife conservation amid the biggest single transfer of elephants within the country.
The Malawi leader said he met the 31 year-old royal on Tuesday this week, and held talks “on a number of bilateral issues including our mutual interest in conservation of wildlife and natural resources.”
Said Mutharika: “I was pleased to note that His Highness, who is on a private visit to Malawi, is committed just like I am, to the conservation of wildlife and conservation and protection of nature.”
Mutharika said he assured the Prince that his government is committed to the protection of wildlife by among other things, training and hiring additional Wildlife Rangers; training a number of our wildlife officers as prosecutors; and strengthening our border controls in order to effectively tackle wildlife crimes.
“With everybody’s commitment and support, we will together combat wildlife crime, preserve our natural resources for generations to come,” stated Mutharika.
Over 500 elephants are being moved within Malawi in a historic transfer of the animals intended to halt dwindling numbers and boost local tourism.
The elephants are being moved from Liwonde National Park in the southern district of Machinga to Nkhotakota game reserve some 450 kilometers north in Nkhotakota district, according to African Parks, a non-profit making conservative group behind the move.
Elephants appear to hold a particular fascination for Harry, who left the army last year. The prince released an instagram picture of himself lying face down with his arms stretched across a sedated elephant during his previous stint as a conservation volunteer in Africa.
Over the past 20 years, Malawi’s elephant population has been halved – from 4,000 to 2,000 amid a continent-wide decline.