• Britain's Prince Harry hugs a sedated elephant at the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Britain's Prince Harry hugs a sedated elephant at the Kruger National Park in South Africa. (Photo : kensingtonroyal/Instagram)

A photo of Prince Harry hugging a sedated elephant was posted on Instagram to underscore the poaching problem in Africa.

The British royal was visiting South Africa’s Kruger National Park as part of his official tour of South Africa and Lesotho, where he decried the rampant elephant and rhino poaching in the territory.

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Kensington Palace published the Instagram photo showing the fifth in line to the throne giving vent to his feelings over what he described as the “pointless waste of beauty.”

"How can it be that 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year alone? None of them had names, so do we not care?” The prince captioned the photograph.

The prince continued he was “upset and frustrated” over all the stories he had heard from people directly involved in the region's anti-poaching team about the grimness and urgency of the situation.

The royal earlier spent a total of three months volunteering in Africa over the summer to help fight against the widespread poaching industry.

During that period, he worked closely with rangers and veterinarians responding to a number of poaching attacks on elephants and rhinoceros.

According to BBC News, the prince was also on hand to assist in a facial reconstruction procedure on a rhino that had been attacked and left for dead after its horn was removed by poachers.

The prince, who has been vocal about his frustration over the slaughter of the wildlife species for their horns and tusks, was in Africa recently for a 10-day visit to the South Africa Wildlife College near the Kruger National Park.

He was also photographed examining the bodies of a female rhino was was recently slaughtered together with her calf.

With rhino horn considered a valuable animal commodity in the world market, the region’s poaching industry has brought a number of species close to extinction.

Huffington Post reports the prince, who was struggling to hold back his feelings, gestured to the rhino carcasses, saying, "this belongs to South Africa and it's been stolen by other people."