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Prince William's Passion: New Father, New Hope

Aired September 21, 2013 - 19:00   ET


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Just a very different, emotional experience.

MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Personal memories of Africa.

WILLIAM: It felt appropriate getting engaged in Africa.

FOSTER: An Africa he hopes will be preserved by a group of selfless, brave, committed individuals. They soar above the earth, they track the animals down below, and sometimes they weep.

They are fighting for the prince's passion; a new father's battle to save Africa's most vulnerable.

WILLIAM: He's got her looks, thankfully.


WILLIAM: Thank God.

FOSTER: It wasn't long ago that the world's most famous new father was just a baby himself, caught in the glare of the world's spotlight. And as William grew into a boy, the spotlight became more relentless, even as he lived through the death of his mother.

Small wonder, then, that as a young man, he found peace. Not in his own kingdom, but in the furthest corners of Africa.

WILLIAM: For me, it's a sense of freedom, being out in the middle of nowhere in Africa, just seeing the beauty of nature in the natural world is just phenomenal. It's fantastic.

FOSTER: When the young prince arrived in Africa for the first time, the splendor of an African sunset, the deep quiet of the Bush, and the majesty of the animals captured his heart.

WILLIAM: I had no real idea that I would feel that way. But I never realized how much emotionally and sort of mentally it would affect me. It is absolutely magical. I remember seeing a little elephant being daunted. It was just amazing kind of sight. Just like, wow. When you actually get on the ground and you see it and feel it and you can put a hand on this thing that's going up and down and is breathing, it is quite something. It's hard to describe in words.

FOSTER: Many of the wild creatures William has come to know and love are fighting for their survival, pursued by poachers and prey for hunters. But now he's waging a fight of his own, to save Africa's most endangered animals.

WILLIAM: You want to stand up for what is very vulnerable and what needs protecting.

FOSTER: And those same feelings have become more intense for William since the birth of his son, Prince George.

WILLIAM: I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience, something I never thought I would feel, myself. And I find, again, it's only been a short period, but a lot of things affect my differently now.

It's a daunting task, when you realize that you want to pass on things to your son, and suddenly you start thinking like, wow, there is stuff you want to safeguard for the future. I have always believed it, but to actually really feel it as well, it's coming through quite powerfully now as well. He's got her looks, thankfully.


FOSTER: Fatherhood has given Prince William a chance to remind the world that he is his own man, casting aside the normal strictures of life as a royal.

WILLIAM: I'm reasonably head strong about what I believe in and where I go for.

FOSTER: At the moment when he came with a car seat, fathers around the planet will be cursing you for doing that car seat so easily.

WILLIAM: Believe me, it wasn't my first time. I was terrified it wasn't going to fall off or close properly, so I had practiced about with that seat, very wonderful.

FOSTER: And your decision to drive off, I remember that moment as well, that was the most nerve-racking thing for me, having my family in the car.

WILLIAM: Well, it can be. I was independent as I want to be and same as Katherine and Harry. We have all grown out differently to have generations. And I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself.

FOSTER: That independence is a legacy from his beloved mother, the late Diana, the princess of Wales.

William's passion for protecting animals is in many ways an echo from what Diana so memorably accomplished, working with Africa's most vulnerable children. We showed the prince some film of his mother in Africa.

PRINCESS DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: I'm really trying to highlight a problem that's going on all around the world, that's all.

WILLIAM: She would come back with all these stories and full of excitement and just passion for what she'd been doing. And I sort of used to see that as a surprised little boy at the time, sort of taking it all in. I never realized quite how much of an impact she had. You can feel and see when she's talking and visiting that she really connects and cares about what she's doing. I applaud her for all her, you know, her dedication and her drive in doing that. And it was that, I think that infectious enthusiasm and the energy that she had that really rubbed off on me for causes such as this.

FOSTER: Princess Diana sparked in William a love of Africa so deep that it became the setting for one of the most important moments of his life, the day he proposed to Kate Middleton in the remote and romantic setting of Mt. Kenya.

WILLIAM: It felt appropriate getting engaged in Africa. I just knew that I wanted to feel comfortable where I did it. And I wanted it to mean something, other than just the act of getting engaged and getting married. And it sort of just really sort of happened that holiday we went on.

FOSTER: When the couple began planning their wedding, in October 2010, it became clear William was thinking about his mother.

WILLIAM: It's my mother's engagement ring.

MIDDLETON: It's very, very special.

WILLIAM: I thought it was quite nice, because obviously she's not going to be around to share in all of the fun and excitement, so this is my way to keeping her so close.

MIDDLETON: I just hope I look after it. It's very, very special.

WILLIAM: She understands what it means to me, being in Africa, and my love of conservation and things like that.

FOSTER: William's passion for Africa is driven by the realization that unless he and others like him stand up for the wildlife of Africa, much of it could be lost forever. Images of what poachers do to the animals are disturbing, but they must be shown.

WILLIAM: Seeing a badly injured animal, such as a rhino, you know, with his missing its horn, it's come to me to symbolize human greed.

FOSTER: An estimated 35,000 elephants were killed in Africa last year alone. Recovering the sinister evidence of illegal poaching has become a routine activity for local wildlife rangers.

EDWIN KINYANJU, KENYAN RANGER: These are some of the snares we have been able to remove.

FOSTER: Kenyan ranger, Edwin Kinyanju shows how wildlife is trapped and killed.

KINYANJU: They normally use every type of wire snares. These are spikes. They will be placing them on the elephant path. You can imagine all these spikes getting into an elephant's leg. Then it is tied to a tree stump. It can't move. At times, we get so emotional, when we go into the forest looking at what all this means. It's all death, to very innocent animals. If we don't join hearts to serve these animals, they'll be wiped out. Sorry. It's because, it's because of the love I have for animals. I wish everybody will come and join hearts with us to save this wildlife, which are so precious to us.

WILLIAM: You're going to give me a minute. It's not just a clip of the elephants and the Rhinos; it's his passion and his sadness that really gets me quite emotional. But they are incredibly vulnerable and I feel a huge amount of protection and a real protective instinct, more so now probably now that I'm a father than I did before, which is why I'm getting quite emotional about it.

I hope people who watch this just spend a few minutes, just really thinking about what they've seen and how they feel about this. And if they feel there's anything they can do to help, then please do it.

FOSTER: Still to come, the duke and duchess of Cambridge step out for a glittering evening, honoring the brave men and women who protect the animals William cares so passionately about.

And, an historic moment in Africa, when a princess became a queen.


FOSTER: The duke and duchess of Cambridge are perhaps the most famous parents on the planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her royal highness, the duchess of Cambridge, was safely delivered of a son at 4:34 p.m. local time.

FOSTER: Even in the early hours as a parent, William took control.

Did you do the first nappy?

WILLIAM: I did the first nappy, yes.

FOSTER: IT is for your badge of honor?

WILLIAM: (INAUDIBLE) I had every midwife staring at me, going, you do it, you do it.

FOSTER: They are up a lot at time?

WILLIAM: Yes, but so is Catherine, you know. But she's doing a fantastic job.

FOSTER: Tonight, the duke and duchess will be up late again. But they have left baby George at home, at Kensington palace. This is their first appearance at a formal event since the baby's birth. It's a glamorous occasion in the planning for months. The first ever tusk conservation awards.

And on this landmark evening in London, Prince William will honor the brave men and women who are keeping Africa's animals alive. The work they do and the majestic beauty of Africa itself have been close to prince will William's heart since his first visit, not long after the tragic loss of his mother.

WILLIAM: The first time I remember going properly was on Easter holiday, and I must have been about 16, 17. It really captured my imagination.

FOSTER: Prince William's passion for Africa is something he shares with his brother, Prince Harry. It's a sanctuary they can both escape to be themselves, and just have fun.

PRINCE HARRY, PRINCE OF WALES: It's pretty squishy. Don't point it at me.

FOSTER: The memories came flooding back for prince William, when we showed him film of some of his African adventures.

WILLIAM: Ginger hair.

FOSTER: Prince William's family ties to Africa are deep and go back for generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wildlife in its own natural surroundings provided a magnificent adventure for the royal family. And for long, Princess Elizabeth was thrilled with her first sight of the track of a lion.

FOSTER: Africa holds a poignant place in the queen's heart. It was on a royal tour of Kenya in 1952 that the then Princess Elizabeth received the sad news that her father, the king, had died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when she returned from a night in the forest, it was to learn that she is now the queen.

FOSTER: Both Prince William's grandfather and father have visited Africa on many occasions and championed wildlife conservation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: History will not judge us by how much economic growth we achieve in the immediate years ahead, but by the legacy we leave for our children, grandchildren, and their grandchildren.

WILLIAM: The legacy part of it is quite a daunting one, following from my father and my grandfather and many other relatives before that, actually. But I think it sort of just happened. I wasn't really aware of it whether my father had been sort of quietly whispering things in my ear when I was small.

FOSTER: In a moment, we will meet Prince William's heroes, men and women who are changing the world, and whose courage and sacrifice pushed the prince's emotions to the limit.


FOSTER: For the duke and duchess of Cambridge, a night out means leaving behind their son, Prince George. WILLIAM: He is a little bit of a rascal. We will put it that way. So, he either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I'm not sure.

FOSTER: For Prince William, the award ceremony marks an important occasion, bringing the world's focus on one of his greatest passions, Africa. The prince has been working with tusk, a charity devoted to conservation, since 2005. He has now launched the tusk awards, to celebrate the extraordinary people fighting to protect Africa's beautiful but endangered landscape and animals.

During our exclusive interview, Prince William watched films of the nominees in action. The first nominee comes from Kenya in east Africa, world famous for its wildlife. The elephants that roam the foothills of Mt. Kenya, one of the country's most famous landmarks, are under threat. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were five million elephants in Africa. Today, there are less than 500,000.

Poachers kill them for their tusks, selling the ivory to ASIA, where it's carved into trinkets. In dense forests, award nominee Edwin Kinyanju and his team troll for poachers. They do this work despite the daily threat of being shot and killed or even being caught in snares set for the elephants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe we can identify it as a cause of poaching because they are missing the tusks. That is Grace. She is my wife with our son, Limwell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just call upon the Lord and ask him for protection, because there's nothing else I can do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They might lose me, but --

WILLIAM: Edwin -- guys like Edwin, they know what they're doing, and they accept the risks that come with it. As you can see from him, he loves being with his animals. And for him, it's not just a job, it's a real calling.

FOSTER: To date, Edwin and his anti-poaching team have been able to arrest over a hundred poachers around Mt. Kenya.

WILLIAM: I'm just so grateful there are people like Edwin out there doing that job.

FOSTER: The next nominee for the tusk award comes from Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, its most unique ecosystem. Josia Razafindramanana is the guardian angel of the Crowned Sifaka Dema (ph) one of Madagascar's most iconic species.

JOSIA RAZAFINDRAMANANA, CROWNED SIFAKA: These lemurs are critically endangered.

FOSTER: There are just 2,000 now scattered across the island. Like Edwin, Josia desire to make a difference means great personal sacrifice, with long periods away from her family, including her 2- year-old son. RAZAFINDRAMANANA: It's hard for me, but I guess it's even harder for him.

FOSTER: To reach and save the lemurs, Josia has to travel hundreds of miles across difficult terrain, on roads plagued by bandits. For her own safety, Josia has to be accompanied by armed policemen. She does all this while being paid nothing. She's a volunteer. The extensive travel is necessary, because a staggering 90 percent of Madagascar's forests are already gone, slashed and burned for farming. This has left lemurs stranded in forest fragments like this, where she serves in a bid to find them.

RAZAFINDRAMANANA: I'm so happy I found them.

FOSTER: Josia is saving these lemurs from extinction by relocating them to a protective site that she's established. It's here at her sanctuary where rescued lemurs are set free in the hope of not just surviving, but multiplying. This mother has just given birth for the first time at the protected site.

WILLIAM: We can bring this back from the brink. As long as I can put my voice and my support behind people like that, those are the guys, those are the girls who will inspire the next generation. Not me, it's them.

FOSTER: The next nominee works with one of nature's most unloved species in South Africa's northern mountains.

Kerri Wolter soars among birds that have a tarnished image but are vital to the ecosystem.

KERRI WOLTER, VULTURE PROTECTION: Vultures are our natural garbage collectors, they do prevent diseases.

FOSTER: Kerri has become their protector.

WOLTER: It's been an absolutely lifelong passion to actually make a difference and work in conservation with animals.

FOSTER: And there happened to be a vacancy working with vultures.

WOLTER: I still say to this day, it was a species that chose me. I sure as hell didn't choose them. I mean, who would choose vultures?

WILLIAM: I loved her comment about the fact that she didn't choose the species, they must have chosen her. That's brilliant.

FOSTER: The vulture is already extinct in neighboring Namibia and becoming closer to extinction in South Africa by the day.

WOLTER: Power line executions and electrocutions are devastating vulture species.

FOSTER: To supplement the dwindling population of vultures, Kerrie and her husband, Walter, started a captive breeding program on an artificial cliff. This year's first vulture chick has just hatched. WOLTER: Basically, I'm the surrogate mom.

FOSTER: Since 2007, Kerrie and Walter have successfully released more than 200 vultures, most of which have survived.

WOLTER: Giving any species back its freedom is something quite unique. Probably what each and every one of us would like to feel, complete freedom, really.

WILLIAM: It shows you, if you persevere in what you believe in, the outcomes are huge.

FOSTER: Still to come, the duke has a very special surprise for one unsung hero.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A letter for you.



WILLIAM: I regularly daydream. Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. For instance, I have got hundreds of animals on my iphone. So if I have had a quite stressful day, I will always put a, you know, buffalo on in the background or, you know, a cricket or something like that, and it takes you back instantly to the bush and it does completely settle me down.

FOSTER: Prince William jokes about recreating the sights and sounds of Africa in his son's nursery.

WILLIAM: I will have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We will cover it in sort of lots of bushes and make him grow up as if he's in the bush.

FOSTER: His love of Africa has inspired him to establish the tusk awards, to celebrate the commitment of conservation workers.

WILLIAM: I just want them to feel proud and acknowledged in the field.

FOSTER: The fourth nominee is based on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, home to one of the biggest and most important coral reefs in the world. Marine biologist Alasdair Harris first came here on a college-funded expedition.

ALASDAIR HARRIS, MARINE BIOLOGIST: So much of what we see here is disappearing in front of our eyes.

FOSTER: When he first did a survey of the reef as part of his studies, Alasdair realized that overfishing and climate change was slowly killing it and threatening the survival of the local people.

HARRIS: Conservation here for these people, it's about the bottom line. It's about a future for their kids.

FOSTER: Alasdair's breakthrough came when he persuaded just one village to close a small area of the reef to fishing for six months. When it reopened, he encouraged them to use only sustainable fishing techniques for changing their main target, octopus, the single most important source of income. The result was staggering.

HARRIS: People before the closure were catching octopus that weighed on average about 300 grams. After a closure, they are catching octopus that weigh up to seven kilos. So, there's a real pulse of revenue coming into these villages.

FOSTER: Today, the reef is teeming with life again and the project has gone viral.

HARRIS: There are over hundreds of kilometers of this coastline, groups of villages are now working together to manage their fisheries and their stocks. Some of these protected areas are the largest in the Indian Ocean.

WILLIAM: Alastair has turned up and made a massive difference, not just to the reefs and the fish and the ecosystem, but obviously for all the locals.

FOSTER: Tonight's final nominee comes from a remote and rugged region of Northern Kenya, close to the border with war-torn Somalia, the wild frontier of Africa. Cattle rustling and banditry among rival tribes is rife here. The absence of police and easy availability of cheap weapons takes its toll, not only on people, but also on wild arrive. Poaching is widespread. But one man, Tom Lalampaa is trying to bring peace to this troubled land.

TOM LALAMPAA, NORTHERN KENYA: You have to focus on the ones that get involved in this kind of security in the north.

FOSTER: For nine years, Tom has come face to face with tribe after tribe, trying to convince each that peace will be more profitable than war.

Tom's work has brought stability to the many different communities in the region. His powers of persuasion are such that former competent like these men now sit together in the shade of a tree.

LALAMPAA: We were incomes to each other, killing each other, but now we are friends.

WILLIAM: It's very easy for me to sit here and say, you know, conservation this, conservation that. But if you don't have the local community on board and you don't understand their wishes and their needs. You can't implement anything in an area like this.

LALAMPAA: Looks like there's some young bulls here and a female here. I have counted about 13 so far.

FOSTER: For Tom, the key to protecting wildlife lies in working with people first. Already he's recruited over 200,000 to the cause of peace and conservation.

LALAMPAA: It's a process. You study the peace building, you know, you make them ambassadors to peace, the peace ambassadors.

WILLIAM: What an amazing, you know, feat to have achieved that because the cultural, the social, all the difficulties that you must have come across to do that, it's quite astounding. And he deserves a huge, you know, so much praise for that.

FOSTER: Still to come, the guests of honor meet Prince William and bringing the black rhino back from the edge of extinction.


FOSTER: Being royalty means being in the spotlight, even if you're just a few days old.

WILLIAM: Any new parent knows, you're only too happy to show off your new child and proclaim that he's the best looking or the best everything.

FOSTER: Baby George is hopefully sleeping, as the duke and duchess meet the nominees for the very first time.

HARRIS: It's a real honor to be among such extraordinary company.

WILLIAM: We do this. Keep up the good work, please.

MIDDLETON: I'm just learning about this and I think George will be too, I think he will be following in his father's footsteps.

FOSTER: Before everyone heads through to the awards presentation, there's one very special person that Prince William is particularly keen to meet. Clive Stockil has fought a lifelong battle to save the black rhino in Zimbabwe.

CLIVE STOCKIL, ZIMBABWE: Our biggest challenge is for man to be able to live in harmony with those animals.

FOSTER: But those animals have been subject to a merciless campaign of poaching, driven by demand from Asia. Rhino horn is now worth more than gold.

WILLIAM: For the local Africans, for them not to have the jewel on their crown, the elephants, the heart of the country, and I think that's -- it's very sad.

FOSTER: By the end of the 20th century, the black rhino population had crashed by 95 percent and they were close to extinction.

WILLIAM: This is an international global problem that needs to be faced. It's hard to put into words the depth of sadness that I would feel if they went extinct.

FOSTER: In 1990, Clive turned his own ranch into a rhino reserve and persuaded his neighboring ranchers to join him in forming the biggest private conservancy in Africa.

Today, Clive and his team are tracking a mother and her 1-year-old calf. On board the helicopter is a veterinarian, armed with a tranquilizer gun. It's vital in the war against the poachers that the new young are identified and tagged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's your rhino.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single rhino's always got an individual number.

FOSTER: The vet administrators a drug to reverse the effect of the tranquilizer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are good to go.

FOSTER: Happily, this mother and calf are now reunited. Clive's dogged determination to protect these engaged animals has proved a great success. From an initial population of just 20 rhino, he's built it up to 143 and counting. Over the past 20 years, Clive has also made it his mission to save one of Zimbabwe's last true wildernesses.

STOCKIL: When you see something as beautiful as this, it's like when God made this world; he created the Garden of Eden. And when he took it away, he left a bit, and this is it.

FOSTER: To protect this paradise, Clive has had to ensure that there is a sustainable income.

STOCKIL: So, it is through tourism that we are going to be able to continue to look after those areas. Because if there's no income, those areas will make way to other forms of land use, and one thing is for sure, once it's gone, it will never come back. It will be gone for good.

WILLIAM: As Clive said, you know, tourism is so key. Ecotourism, tourism in this particular area is the only way of keeping animals like the rhinos and elephants and equally local communities having a source of food and be able to grow their crops and live in outside, it's the only sustainable way.

FOSTER: Clive built a luxury forest lodge in partnership with the local people who now run it and share in the profits. At the lodge, Prince William enlisted the help of a special and long-serving member of the team. Thomas (INAUDIBLE) has worked his way up from waiter to chief tour guide. But today, he's working by royal appointment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A letter for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Thomas. Thanks.

WILLIAM: Dear Clive, I'm delighted to inform you that you have been selected by an independent panel of judges to receive the first Prince William award for conservation in Africa in recognition of your outstanding lifetime contribution to wildlife conservation and communities in Zimbabwe.

STOCKIL: My goodness. Amazing! Fantastic, really, consider it a great, great honor. Just fantastic, thank you.

WILLIAM: You're going to get me going. I see a little bit of me in him. It's the passion and the commitment he's given is second to none.

STOCKIL: I never expected that. I never expected that.

FOSTER: Coming up, the announcement of the runner-up and the winner of the tusk conservation award.

WILLIAM: I'm thrilled to announce that the winner --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your royal highnesses, lords, ladies, and gentleman, a very warm welcome to the inaugural tusk conservation awards. It is now my very great pleasure to invite his royal highness, the duke of Cambridge, to the stage to present the awards.

FOSTER: Finally, the moment he's been looking forward to, a chance for Prince William to honor the most important work being done to save Africa's animals. But first, he reflects on why conservation means so much to him and his yuck family.

WILLIAM: It is a genuine pleasure for Catherine and me to be here tonight at the Tusk Awards for conservation in Africa, to support a cause that has never been closer to our hearts than it is right now. As you might have gathered, Catherine and I have recently become proud parents of a baby who has a voice to match any lion's roar. This is actually our first evening out without him, so please excuse us, if you see us nervously casting cheeky glances at our mobile phones to check all is well back home.

FOSTER: But here in the room, it's time to announce the runner-up.

WILLIAM: I'm delighted to announce the recipient of the judge's highly commended price is Alastair Harris.

FOSTER: Alastair Harris has transformed the lives of thousands of people. He fished the seas along Madagascar's engaged coral reef.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we turn to the winner.

WILLIAM: I'm thrilled to announce that the winner is Tom Lalampaa.


FOSTER: Tom is a peacemaker, a man who has brought together warring tribes in order to end the suffering of innocent animals.

And lastly, a special award for a man doing some of the most important work in the natural world.

WILLIAM: It is my very great pleasure to announce Clive Stockil as the winner of the 2013 Prince William award of conservation in Africa.

WILLIAM: Clive Stockil has fought tirelessly to save the black rhino from extinction. For 40 years, the animal has been his obsession.

STOCKIL: There's your rhino.

Needless to say, I'm a little bit out of my environment. When I received your letter, informing me of the judge's decision, I was humbled, encouraged and excited that you are committed to protecting some of this planet's most valuable assets.


WILLIAM: It is unfathomable to imagine a war in which children who have been born in the past couple of months may grow up in a world in which rhinoceros have seized to live in the wild. I sincerely hope tonight we are leaving you feeling depressed as there is reason to have (INAUDIBLE) and minds of hope. Our hope manifests itself in the form of the proud faces you see tonight receiving their awards. Have a very good evening. Thank you.

FOSTER: None of the nominees went home empty-handed. They were all given grants to further their projects. It's an important night for them, but it's also an important night for Prince William, one that marks a renewed commitment to Africa.

After more than seven years of military service, he's leaving the royal air force to focus for now on his official duties and expand his work in conservation.

WILLIAM: I'm so pleased and to have those guys amongst the tusk umbrella. And if just a little bit of what they have done can rub off and inspire another young conservationist for the future, I think the awards are a success. If you care about how you live and how you want your children and grandchildren to live, then conservation is so important.