25 February 2013

Kenya: Conservationist, Reporter Die in Mt Kenya Crash

Nanyuki — A conservationist who was piloting an aircraft was killed alongside a Canadian journalist when the plane crashed in Mount Kenya forest on Monday.

The aircraft owned by Laikipia Wildlife Forum crashed in the forest due to bad weather, according to Yellow Club East Africa chairman Rob Linck who witnessed the crash.

"There were strong winds and the aircraft was small and therefore it could not manoeuvre its way through the turbulence," said Linck.

The pilot, Dr Anthony King, was the director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum Trust Fund. He and his journalist passenger were surveying the Laikipia ecosystem and the forest wildlife habitat when the incident occurred at around 9:30am near Lake Mickleson situated 1,400 feet above sea level.

The bodies were later retrieved and moved to Nanyuki district hospital mortuary while the wreckage is still at the scene of the accident.

Laikipia Wildlife Forum director Mordecai Oganda said the conservation world has lost one of its most dedicated and passionate advocates, a loss that will be felt mostly in Laikipia but also in the whole country.

Dr Anthony King and his wife, Dr Delphine Malleret King have contributed to the work of leading conservation organisations of East Africa like the African Wildlife Foundation, UNEP, the African Conservation Centre, the Mpala Wildlife Foundation and the Kenya Land Conservation Trust.

King served as Executive Director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum from 2005 to 2011.

He developed LWF into an organisation that has been of direct benefit to the lives and livelihoods of as many as 300,000 people across the region, whilst working to maintain the integrity of an ecosystem that hosts remarkable densities of wildlife on private and community land.

King earned a PhD with the Ecosystems Analysis and Management Group, at the University of Warwick, UK.

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