Prince William's beloved six-year-old white rhino, Max, has been slaughtered by poachers in a wildlife preserve in Kenya.

Max was given to the prince by the family of his first love, Jecca Craig. William spent weeks during the early noughties where he was said to be highly impressed with the work of the Craig family and became a patron of the Tusk Trust concervation charity.

The rhinocereos was shot 17 times before the poachers sawed off its horn.

A spokesman for William said: "The Duke is appalled by the senseless slaughter. He is very upset by the poaching, and Tusk are keeping him updated."

Rangers had already taken most of Max's horn in an effort to deter poachers but they still took what they could.

A full-sized rhino horn can fetch up to US$500,000 (£310,000) in Vietnam and China.