Prince George is Single-Handedly Reviving Endangered Species

Josh Duboff

The Royal FamilyThe Royal FamilyWe know George can sell out clothes; babies have devoted their entire, nascent lives to imitating him; Justin Timberlake has shouted him out (George was no doubt too busy to return Justin's texts). So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the young royal, who just turned one, now seems to be saving entire animal populations.

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O.K., "saving entire animal populations" might be a little strong, but George is giving at least one a major assist. The bilby, a "rabbit-like Australian marsupial species," received one of the largest P.R. boosts an animal species has likely ever received (second perhaps to Britney Spears's 2001 V.M.A.'s performance) when the prince visited the Tarongo Zoo in Sydney in April and met his namesake, George the bilby, in one of the Australia-New Zealand trip's most reproduced images. George gave the animal a smile that seemed to say, "Hey, kid, I know the weight of the world can be somewhat overwhelming, but hang in there . . . Also, these blue shorts are pretty cute, huh?"

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Since the prince's visit, interest has "skyrocketed" in the bilby, as a zoo spokesman told People there has been "an amazing surge of interest online" in the animal, and "increased awareness of the bilby from visitors." Bilby merchandise has "sold steadily," as well, and there is now a national recovery plan in place for the animal-which is classified as a "threatened species" in Australia. (We fear this all might be going to George the bilby's head-he refuses to eat anything other than caviar now and we heard a rumor he is charging for selfies with zoo-goers.)

Meanwhile, as P.R. flacks for various animal-kingdom subsets now prepare pitches for Buckingham Palace, this all bodes very well for the future prospects of butterflies.

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