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Duke and Beckham in wildlife scheme

The Duke of Cambridge and David Beckham have been photographed together to mark the recording of two video campaigns they have made against illegal wildlife products.

William, Beckham and retired Chinese professional basketball star Yao Ming, filmed public service announcements in London on behalf of the organisation WildAid.

The messages will be broadcast globally in November but their target audiences are in China and Vietnam, countries which have large markets for illegal wildlife products.

Speaking about why he decided to record the public messages, David Beckham said: "When I learned of the current poaching levels in Africa, I immediately agreed to help get this message out.

"It is shocking to think that we could lose these animals from the wild in our lifetimes."

A spokesman for WildAid, which campaigns to end the illegal wildlife trade, said: "The ivory trade claims the lives of an estimated 25,000 elephants annually and according to South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs, as of September 5 at least 618 rhinos were killed for their horns in 2013, which may break last year's record of 668 poached rhinos later this month."

Peter Knights, WildAid executive director, said: "In the messages the Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham and Yao Ming will urge consumers to not purchase illegal wildlife products, specifically rhino horn, ivory, and shark fin."

He added: "In one message they specifically talk about their concern as fathers, that future generations will lose these animals unless we can reduce the demand for endangered wildlife products.

"In the second message they show how all the rhinos left in the wild could fit inside just one soccer stadium."


From Belfast Telegraph