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Prince William feeds rescued elephant in China's only elephant sanctuary

Prince William in polo uniform
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Prince William joked that his son Prince George would envy him meeting Paddington Bear in Shanghai on Tuesday, and the adorable tot will no doubt be equally as envious of his dad coming face-to-face with an elephant at China's only elephant sanctuary. Naturally the Duke of Cambridge couldn't resist feeding one of the beautiful elephants while he was there, as he reached the final day of his official royal tour.


Will 1 © Photo: Getty Images

Prince William visited China's only elephant sanctuary while on tour

The prince appeared fascinated as he stood close to Ran Ran, a 13-year-old rescued female Asian elephant, at the Xishuangbanna sanctuary in the south western province of Yunnan. He fed her carrot after carrot, which were passed to him by the elephant's keeper. No doubt with his young son Prince George in mind, William, who was dressed casually in a pair of blue trousers and light-coloured shirt with the sleeves rolled up for the low-key event, rubbed the elephant’s trunk and gave her a gentle scratch between the eyes.

Will 4 © Photo: Getty Images

The royal enjoyed feeding several carrots to a rescued elephant

When the huge animal, who was discovered in a jungle river in 2005 with a leg wound caused by a trap, had eaten an entire basket of carrots, William quipped: "you're going to get indigestion". The Duke, who is president of the organisation United for Wildlife, has campaigned against the illegal trade in elephant ivory and during his tour he has worked to raise awareness among the Chinese, who are a huge consumer of the product.

Will 3 © Photo: Getty Images

The prince has campaigned against the illegal trade in elephant ivory

He also met villagers nearby the sanctuary to hear how they were adapting to living in close proximity to 250 wild elephants – rural communities have had to change the crops they produce so as not to attract the animals. William was warmly welcomed to China on Sunday by the country's President Xi Jinping after a four-day trip to Japan. He got red carpet treatment on the trip as he stepped out on in Shanghai for the premiere of British film Paddington Bear. He also met school children at a football event and toured business exhibition the Great Festival of Creativity, where he admired a portrait of his grandmother the Queen.

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