Britain's Prince William appeals to Chinese to save elephants

LONDON - Britain's Prince William made a direct appeal to Chinese people to boycott ivory and other animal products used in medicine or ornaments to preserve the world's remaining elephants on Monday.

China is a major consumer of ivory, with demand for the tusks threatening dwindling elephant populations with extinction.

Speaking during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain, William recorded a message for popular Chinese television show "Let's Talk".

"In the 33 years since I was born, we have lost around 70 per cent of Africa's elephant population. Of those that are left, 20,000 are being killed every year - that is 54 elephants killed every single day," William said.

"At this rate, children born this year, like my daughter Charlotte, will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthdays." Along with Chinese former basketball star Yao Ming and former footballer David Beckham, William has campaigned for an end to the trade in ivory.

He greeted viewers by saying "Xiexie. Hen gaoxing he ni jianmian," or "Thank you, I'm pleased to meet you." William, who is second in line to the throne, noted that his own ancestors had collected animal trophies, but said that the prospect of total extinction meant traditions had to change.

"I am absolutely convinced that China can become a global leader in the protection of wildlife," William said as he concluded.

"Your influence in the world means you can change the face of conservation in this century."