William and Kate show their parental instincts as they relish rhino encounter

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have played mother and father to a group of orphaned baby elephants and rhinos during a tour of one of the world’s most important wildlife parks. Armed with large bottles of milk, the royals fed the hungry animals who were impatient to get their meal and bellowed when they first saw rangers approaching with the flasks. William and Kate fed all the animals in turn, crouching over the tiniest of the group to make sure they got every drop. But it was Dunga the rhino, the smallest and newest resident at the centre in India’s Kaziranga National Park, who won Kate’s heart.

They were absolutely thrilled and loved being with the animals. The Duchess loved the baby rhino particularly.

Vivek Menon, chief executive officer of the Wildlife Trust of India

Earlier, the royals made a two-hour jeep safari into the park. Standing up in the back to get a better view, the royal couple spent drove rough tracks through the jungle but gave one rhino blocking their path a wide berth. Prince William spoke to the rangers who are at the forefront of the fight to protect the animals, whose horn is trafficked across much of Asia. On Sunday, a rhino was killed bringing the total to six so far this year. William, who set up the United for Wildlife group to coordinate efforts to stop the illegal wildlife trade, has been criticised in the past for still going shooting with members of his family, including brother Prince Harry.