The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry is no stranger to controversy, and has found himself embroiled in a new one. Apparently, he has been criticized for hiding the hind leg of an Elephant photo. The image was posted on his and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s official Instagram account.
As it turns out, the image was supposed to be a celebration of Earth Day. The Instagram account posted photos of the Duke on the subject of his environmental point of view. Images of different animals were posted, such as a rhino, lions, orcas and humpback whales, and more. However, the last photo was the most polarising one. It featured a man holding a tusk of an elephant. On the outside, it may seem like an ordinary image, however, the full image had an even bigger impact.
According to The Sun, the Elephant image posted was featured during the 2016 press release from Kensington Palace. The press release covered the Duke’s trip to Malawi, and showed a wider shot. What was quite shocking was the fact that, in the original image, the hind leg of the elephant is tethered.
View this post on Instagram
Today is #earthday – an opportunity to learn about, celebrate and continue to safeguard our planet, our home. The above, Their Royal Highnesses in Rotorua, New Zealand. Of the 170 different species originally planted in the early 1900’s, only a handful of species, including these majestic Redwoods, remain today. Next, we invite you to scroll through a series of 8 photos taken by The Duke of Sussex©️DOS sharing his environmental POV including: Africa’s Unicorn, the rhino. These magnificent animals have survived ice ages and giant crocodiles, amongst other things! They have adapted to earth’s changing climate continually for over 30 million years. Yet here we are in 2019 where their biggest threat is us. A critical ecosystem, Botswana’s Okavango Delta sustains millions of people and an abundance of wildlife. Huge bush fires, predominantly started by humans, are altering the entire river system; the ash kills the fish as the flood comes in and the trees that don’t burn become next year’s kindling. Desert lions are critically endangered due partly to human wildlife conflict, habitat encroachment and climate change. 96% of mammals on our 🌍 are either livestock or humans, meaning only 4% remaining are wild animals. Orca and Humpback whale populations are recovering in Norway thanks to the protection of their fisheries. Proof that fishing sustainably can benefit us all. Roughly 3/4 of Guyana is forested, its forests are highly diverse with 1,263 known species of wildlife and 6,409 species of plants. Many countries continue to try and deforest there for the global demand for timber. We all now know the damage plastics are causing to our oceans. Micro plastics are also ending up in our food source, creating not just environmental problems for our planet but medical problems for ourselves too. When a fenced area passes its carrying capacity for elephants, they start to encroach into farmland causing havoc for communities. Here @AfricanParksNetwork relocated 500 Elephants to another park within Malawi to reduce the pressure on human wildlife conflict and create more dispersed tourism. Every one of us can make a difference, not just today but every day. #earthday
“This young male was fighting the drug and headed towards the trees, which would have made it very difficult for us to get him on the truck,” Prince Harry explained during the press conference.
“This big bull (male) 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-comatose, but it continued to shuffle for a while.”
The allegedly cropped photo was aimed at raising awareness about the Prince’s project regarding the relocation of 500 Elephants to conservation parks in Malawi. Unfortunately, it wasn’t indicated that the animals were tranquillised and tethered as mentioned before.
“When a fenced area passes its carrying capacity for elephants, they start to encroach into farmland causing havoc for communities,” part of the post stated. “Here African Parks Network relocated 500 Elephants to another park within Malawi to reduce the pressure on human wildlife conflict and create more dispersed tourism.”
Naturally, the cropped image set off a tidal wave of outrage from people. They criticised Prince Harry for “hiding the truth” on social media, according to Metro.
“He [Harry] is on the front line and has access that very few people including professional photographers would ever dream of having,” Wildlife photographer Christiaan Kotze told the Mail Online. “If these are really his best images he has not used the opportunity to its full extent.”
A spokesman was silent on the issue, however,, the Mail Online reported, that the reason why the image was cropped “was due to Instagram’s format.”