Sometimes pictures say more than words and these moving images of Her Serene Highness Charlene Wittstock of Monaco on a rhino dehorning expedition in South Africa speak volumes.
The 43-year-old Benoni-raised beauty is here as part of a wildlife conservation mission to prevent rhino poaching.
Rhino conservation is a cause very close to the royal’s heart, an insider says.
“It’s something she does as a personal passion project, and while it’s not formally part of her official foundation, the foundation does support it.”
Charlene, who’s believed to be in the country on her own to focus on her conservation work, expressed her concern for the rhino crisis that’s “stolen almost 10 000 African rhinos from our beautiful earth”.
“We cannot afford to lose anymore,” she says in a press statement.
The mom-of-two, sporting her edgy new short haircut, appeared emotional as she accompanied rangers who darted the animals from a helicopter before dehorning them.
The process of cutting off the horn is considered one of the most effective methods of deterring poachers. The former Olympic swimmer, who’ll miss the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix as she’ll be in South Africa, has thrown her support behind the cause.
South Africa’s rhino population has fallen drastically in the past decade, with one rhino killed for its horn every 22 hours.
Rhino poaching is also rife in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Demand for rhino horn is mainly from Asia where it’s considered a sexual potency aid.
“We have to protect our rhinos and their future by protecting and dehorning them as safely and as gently as possible,” Charlene says. “I’m passionate about playing a role in saving the rhino and championing their cause.”