Prince William tells ITV News: The world has 5-10 years to save the rhino

Prince William has issued his gravest warning yet that the rhino is dangerously close to extinction, telling ITV News that the world has as little as five years left to save the species.

The Duke of Cambridge, speaking exclusively to Mark Austin on the ITV Evening News, condemned the illegal poaching trade that is decimating rhino and elephant numbers in Africa.

William said it would be "devastating for humanity" and future generations if the animals continue to be slaughtered and become permanent victims of aggressive poaching gangs.

The prince, who is the president of United for Wildlife and patron of the Tusk Trust, called for a "dramatic change" in how rhinos are protected to prevent the species being lost forever.

"If we haven’t achieved something in the next five to 10 years then we will be almost impossible to do anything after that," he said.

ITV News is reporting this week from Kenya, South Africa, Malawi and Laos on the battle to save the rhino and the elephant from extinction.

  • Watch William's exclusive full interview with Mark Austin on the ITV Evening News on Tuesday at 6.30pm

You can watch the full interview on Tuesday's Evening News. Credit: ITV News