William joins Vietnamese pupils learning about rhino conservation

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The Duke of Cambridge has visited a Vietnamese primary school to learn how children are being encouraged to protect endangered rhinos - with the help of a story book.

William is on a two-day official visit to the Asian country to highlight the damaging effects the illegal trade in wildlife has on some of the world's best-loved animals like the rhino and elephant.

In the capital Hanoi, he joined a class at Hong Ha primary school, where the youngsters were reading I'm A Little Rhino - one of a series of books produced to educate children about endangered animals and why they are threatened.

The book tells the story of a young white rhino growing up in Africa, who describes their way of life and how they are targeted by poachers because some people wrongly believe their horns have healing properties. It ends with a strong plea not to buy the animal parts.

William was pictured at a table with a group of children reading the book, and later posed with a large number of youngsters for a photograph.

Teresa Telecky, the book's author and wildlife department director for the animal protection organisation Humane Society International, which co-produced the publication, said: "We are thrilled that Prince William is helping to bring attention to the plight of rhinos and the dire poaching crisis they face, which is decimating their wild populations in Africa and Asia.

"Driving the crisis is the demand for rhino horn for its use in traditional medicines and health tonics despite the horn having no medicinal value.

"Our I'm A Little Rhino book educates children about rhinos and the threats to their survival and encourages them to ask adults in their lives not to buy or consume rhino horn."