The second in line to the British throne warned that the animals could become extinct as poaching is on the rise again, powered by surging demand for the horns which are used in Asian traditional medicine.
“I think they are extremely ignorant. I think they are selfish. I think they are wrong, totally and utterly wrong,” William, who is the royal patron of the Tusk Trust wildlife charity, told the BBC when asked about poachers or people who buy the horns.
“It makes me very angry, it’s a waste,” he said in the interview broadcast yesterday.
The issue has emotional overtones for the prince: he proposed to his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2010 on a Kenyan wildlife reserve which is renowned for its efforts to protect black rhinos.
“Along with elephants, they’re two of the most heavily poached animals currently in the world.
“If we don’t do something about them it is going to be a tragic loss for everyone,” William added.
Black rhinos are critically endangered, with an estimated 4,800 in Africa, while white rhino populations have rebounded to an estimated 20,700 thanks to conservation efforts.