Prince William makes a passionate plea to save African elephants: 'Ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury'


Prince William is on a mission to save one of our planets most treasured species.

For the last few years, the 34-year-old royal has spoken out against illegal wildlife trade, which he reiterated during a passionate speech at the Time 4 Change global awareness event in London on Thursday.

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Speaking on behalf of the wildlife charity and event sponsor, Tusk, William shared polarizing statistics on the number of African elephants that have been slaughtered since 1982.

"When I was born there were one million elephants roaming Africa," said the father of 3-year-old Prince George, and 1-year-old Prince Charlotte. "By the time my daughter Charlotte was born last year, the numbers of savanna elephants had crashed to just 350,000."

Prince William recently took his parents to work. Check it out:

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Prince William takes his grandparents to work
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Prince William takes his grandparents to work
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge kisses his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh goodbye after he opened the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge walks across the helipad after piloting his air ambulance into land at the East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (r) looks on as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh depart in a Sikorsky Helicopter (The Queen's Helicopter Flight) after opening the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandparents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II a tour as she opens the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the opening, by Queen Elizabeth II, of the East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with air ambulance personnel as he attends the opening, by Queen Elizabeth II, of the East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as he opens the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge walks across the helipad after piloting his air ambulance into land at the East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge kisses his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh goodbye after he opened the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attends the opening, by Queen Elizabeth II, of the East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge kisses his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh goodbye after he opened the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as he opens the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II a tour as she opens the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandparents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour of his air ambulance helicopter as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II a tour as she opens the new East Anglian Air Ambulance base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge jokes with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as he says goodbye after visiting the new East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William (R) speaks with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II (C) and grandfather Prince Philip (L) during a visit to the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambridge airport in eastern England, on July 13, 2016. / AFP / POOL / NIKLAS HALLE'N (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives Queen Elizabeth II a tour as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge gives Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh a tour as they open the new East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport on July 13, 2016 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William (R) speaks with his grandfather Prince Philip during a visit to the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) at Cambridge airport in eastern England, on July 13, 2016. / AFP / POOL / NIKLAS HALLE'N (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)
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MORE: Watch Prince William Getting Scolded by the Queen Over and Over and Over Again

William warned that if the "current pace of poaching continues," the beloved creatures will be "gone from the wild" by the time his daughter turns 25.

The speech also included a message on rhinos, another animal facing extinction due to the illegal ivory trade. It is estimated that more than 5,000 African rhinos were killed by poachers between the years of 2008-2015.

"I am not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear from the wild," William explained. "I am not prepared to explain to our children why we lost this battle when we had the tools to win it."

The Duke of Cambridge's poignant address, coincides with the announcement that he will head to Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 17-18 for the third Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference. In addition to attending the conference, William plans to meet with conservationist in the South Asian country.

"We have the opportunity to end, once and for all, the mixed messages we have to sent for too long about the value and desirability of wildlife products," he added. "We have a chance to say that ivory is a symbol of destruction, not of luxury, and not something that anyone needs to buy or sell. We have the chance to say that rhino horn does not cure anything and does not need a legal market."

See how William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, continue to honor their mother, Princes Diana, through charity work in the video below.

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