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Prince Harry hails 'amazing' elephant work in Malawi

Harry marking an elephant Image copyright African Parks/Frank Weitzer
Image caption Prince Harry: "Marking one of the young males so that he is easily identifiable when the family group is released back into the bush and we can keep them together. The spray paint disappears after a few days."

Prince Harry has said the experience of helping to move African elephants across Malawi was "amazing"

The royal spent three weeks in Malawi in July and August working on a major project to transfer 500 elephants more than 200 miles to a wildlife reserve.

He said elephants "cannot roam freely like they used to without coming into conflict with communities, or being threatened by poaching and persecution"

Wildlife is "increasingly susceptible" to growing human populations, he added.

Harry has released four photographs - which were all captioned by him personally - of his time in Malawi working with the 500 Elephants initiative, led by African Parks.

'Least invasive way'

The animals were being moved 200 miles (322km) across the country from the Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, where it is hoped they will be able to thrive.

Harry said: "They need to be moved to another place and this is the most efficient and least invasive way of being able to do it.

"I can tell you after three weeks there is zero stress on these animals and they're going from one beautiful place to another beautiful place."

The photographs show Harry helping to "tip" a standing elephant onto its side after it was sedated, while he was also part of a group hanging on to a rope to prevent a male elephant running away after being darted.

The prince said Africa's wildlife will be "increasingly susceptible" to growing human populations.

"To allow the coexistence of people and animals, fences are increasingly having to be used to separate the two, and try to keep the peace," he added.

Image copyright African Parks/Frank Weitzer
Image caption Prince Harry: "A few of us trying to 'tip' an elephant. This young male was fighting the sedative drug and was headed towards the trees, which would have made it very difficult for us to get him on the truck."
Image copyright African Parks/Frank Weitzer
Image caption Prince Harry: "This big bull elephant refused to lie down after it had been darted with tranquilliser. After about seven minutes the drug began to take effect and the elephant became semi-conscious, but it continued to shuffle for a while... Here we are trying to slow him down."
Image copyright African Parks/Frank Weitzer
Image caption Prince Harry: "Lawrence Munro and I met in South Africa last year and have been in contact since. We got him to give a fantastic brief to the ranger students at Kruger on their graduation. He is now is working with African Parks as their operations manager in Liwonde. He's one of the best."

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