Prince Harry showed off his playful side during a visit to a national park in Nepal – by pretending to be a tiger. The 31-year-old was visiting the Bardia National Park when a local guide explained how tiger camera traps work.
After the guide suggested that Harry walk past a camera to set one off, the Prince duly obliged. Hunching over and grinning from ear-to-ear, Harry gave his best impression of a big cat, much to the amusement of onlookers.
He was shown the photos of his efforts on a laptop, prompting Harry to joke: "Not as good as a tiger. You'd be a bit worried if you saw one of those walking towards you."
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Prince Harry gave his best impression of a tiger to test out the cameras
The Prince was then shown some incredible snaps of real tigers. "That, was here? Amazing," he said. "Show me that tiger again please, that was amazing, it's beautiful. Fat, healthy, really healthy. They won't struggle with food, as long as they're fit and well."
The cameras use infrared triggers to obtain critical data about wildlife and their habitat. The last annual survey in 2014 showed there were 50 tigers in Bardia National Park; in 2009 there were just 18.
"Not as good as a tiger," laughed Harry. "You'd be a bit worried if you saw one of those walking towards you"
Harry, who is in Nepal to see earthquake relief projects, praised locals for their wildlife programmes. He signed the visitor's book, writing: "I commend every single one of you for what you have achieved here. Working together has proved itself, and no rhinos poached for three years is near perfection.
"Well done all of you. Thank you from all of us who care for all the amazing animals and the habitat they live in."
The Prince was visiting Bardia National Park in Nepal
During his visit to the national park, Harry experienced some of the tourist activities on offer, including a gentle rafting ride down the Khauraha River to spot crocodiles. He was treated to a special performance by folk dancers in Dalla village, whose residents offer traditional overnight homestays to tourists as a source of income – instead of poaching.
He met one such local, 43-year-old Champi Tharu. "For you and your children life is much better this way?" asked Harry.
"The whole community is now for conservation," she said. "The cost of schooling for the children and the household needs are now being met from the income from tourism."
He met local residents who offer traditional homestays
Harry, who touched down in Nepal on Saturday, is in the country to visit areas hit by the 2015 earthquakes, as well as pay a personal tribute to the Gurkhas.
Over the weekend he toured a municipal camp for families displaced by last year's tragedy, and was greeted by a group of girls holding up a sign that read "We love u Harry". The Queen's grandson was also shown inside one family's tent by 15 year old Purushottam Suwal.
"I did carving at school years ago but nothing like this," said the royal
A visit to the Golden Temple in Kathmandu and the historic Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site that was badly damaged by the earthquake, was on Harry's schedule.
The Eton-educated Prince even tried his hand at wood carving, saying: "I did carving at school years ago but nothing like this."
"I can't do it," he laughed. "Not many people can. I am showing how hard it is to do this – wow."