Prince William has paid tribute to his friend after he was killed while flying over a wildlife reserve in East Africa.
Mark Jenkins and his son Peter died when the plane they were flying crashed in Tsavo National Park on Thursday.
“Yesterday, I lost a friend, who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks,” the Prince of Wales said.
“Mark Jenkins, and his son Peter, were tragically killed when flying over Tsavo National Park while conducting an aerial patrol.
“Tonight, I’m thinking about Mark’s wife, family and colleagues who’ve sadly lost a man we all loved and admired.”
Mr Jenkins was a conservationist and experienced pilot, who had worked across East Africa’s most renowned national parks.
The son of a game warden for Kenya Wildlife Service, he grew up in Kenya’s Meru National Park.
He joined the Frankfurt Zoological Society as a project leader in 2014, first in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, and then in Serengeti National Park until 2016.
An experienced pilot, Mr Jenkins helped build up the airwing of Serengeti National Park by introducing two Aviat Husky aircraft dedicated to anti-poaching and surveillance.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society said Mr Jenkins was instrumental in establishing the first de-snaring teams inside the park, providing local employment while helping to reduce the impact of snares on wildlife.
“Passionate, principled, and strong-willed, Mark was never afraid to speak his mind and stand for what he believed in,” a statement read.
“He was a commanding presence and made an indelible impression wherever he went. Those of us who worked alongside him remember him for his determination, thoughtfulness, his energy, his mischievous smile, and his deep love of wildlife and wild places.
“We will miss his warmth, his hilarious stories, and his sometimes rather irreverent comments which always made us smile. Mark was a devoted husband and father and leaves behind his wife, and his son.
“Our deepest condolences go to his family, who tragically lost two beloved family members, to their friends, and to all conservationists who knew Mark and worked with him. Our heartfelt condolences go also to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the NGO for which Mark did yesterday’s patrol flight.”
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