Prince Harry's devastating photos from South Africa are why poaching needs to go.

Prince Harry's tour of Kruger National Park in South Africa quickly become emotional for the 31-year-old royal.

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.


(Warning: Potentially upsetting image below).

The prince was heartbroken to see the carcasses of endangered animals left behind by poachers.

Photo by Paul Edwards/Getty Images.

"This belongs to South Africa and it's been stolen by other people. And the body's left here, wasted," the prince said upon viewing the body of a rhinoceros with just its horn cut away, according to a report in The Guardian.

Harry has been documenting the trip on Instagram and appealing to his followers to help stop poaching.

Among the heartrending photos: this one of the prince hugging an elephant that had been sedated for examination.

A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

"After a very long day in Kruger National Park, with five rhinos sent to new homes and three elephants freed from their collars - like this sedated female - I decided to take a moment.

I know how lucky I am to have these experiences, but hearing stories from people on the ground about how bad the situation really is, upset and frustrated me. How can it be that 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year alone? None of them had names, so do we not care? And for what? Their tusks? Seeing huge carcasses of rhinos and elephants scattered across Africa, with their horns and tusks missing is a pointless waste of beauty."

And this one, in which Harry, sadly, works to dehorn a rhino — one of the only short-term methods of deterring potential poachers.

A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

"I was working with Dr. Mark Jago and Dr. Pete Morkel in Namibia. Some countries are de-horning small populations of rhino to deter poachers from shooting them. It is a short-term solution and surely no substitute for professional and well-trained rangers protecting these highly sought-after animals. De-horning has to be done every two years for it to be effective and can only realistically be done with small populations in open bush."

There are many more here. Warning: Several of them are extremely graphic and upsetting.

Poaching is no joke, and it's a growing problem.

The ivory trade has already devastated the rhinoceros population, which currently sits at around 29,000 (down from about 500,000 in the early 1900s). The death of a white rhino at the San Diego Zoo last month left the total number of that rhino species remaining on Earth at just three.

It's not just the animals that are at risk.

Big-game poaching often disrupts tourism for countries that depend on it, as the growing scarcity of wildlife to view and the possibility of violence dissuades potential visitors. Fewer visitors means increased local poverty and staff cutbacks at national parks, which can lead to even more poaching.

There are some signs of hope, however, that the tide might be slowly turning.

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

Back in September, the U.S. and China signed an agreement to take steps to stem the ivory trade — a very big deal, as both countries are among the world's largest markets for the illicit substance. And this New York Times report found increasing levels of local support for anti-poaching efforts. It also found that even some former poachers are turning against the trade, which they see as contributing to the destruction of their own communities.

Ultimately, Prince Harry is right. It's critical that we save these majestic animals and — just as importantly — the people whose livelihoods depend on their survival before it's too late.

Here are some good folks — including Save the Rhino, the Black Mambas (a predominantly female anti-poaching brigade in South Africa), and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation — who are on that. Do check them out.

We can't allow moments like this to become a thing of the past.

Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph... "This was the second time Zawadi, a female black rhino, met someone from my family. My brother William fed her three years ago in Kent just before she left under a translocation project to Tanzania where she now lives in a sanctuary. Thanks to the passion and stubbornness of Tony Fitzjohn OBE and his amazing rangers, she and many others are living it up in the bush and their numbers are growing. She goes nuts for carrots and I loved being able to send William this photo. Hats off to Tusk Trust." http://www.tusk.org/mkomazi-national-park Photograph ©Prince Harry
A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on
Most Shared
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular