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Prince William calls on public to save the African elephant

The prince has painted a bleak picture about the outlook for the Savanna elephant.

FILE: An elephant close up. Picture: Conservation Action Trust

PRETORIA - Britain's Prince William has made an impassioned plea for all sectors of society to save the Savanna elephant.

He was speaking on the eve of the CITES COP17 Conference in Johannesburg.

Prince William has painted a bleak picture about the outlook for the Savanna elephant.

"When I was born there was 1 million elephants roaming Africa and by the time my daughter Charlotte was born last year the number of Savanna elephants had crashed to just 350,000. With the current rate of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25 the African elephants will be gone from the wild."

He says he's not prepared to explain to his children why his generation lost the battle for the iconic species when they had the tools to win it.

The prince adds there's momentum building from government, business, conservationists and the public to stop the killings.