The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to a conservationist friend who died while flying over Kenya’s largest national park.
William described Mark Jenkins as someone who had “dedicated his life” to protecting wildlife in East Africa.
He said Mr Jenkins had been killed alongside his son Peter as they flew over Tsavo National Park on an aerial patrol.
Yesterday, I lost a friend, who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks. Mark Jenkins, and his son Peter, were tragically killed when flying over Tsavo National Park while conducting an aerial patrol.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) December 9, 2022
The Frankfurt Zoological Society, of which Mr Jenkins was a former employee, said he had died when the plane he was in “crashed” in the park during an aerial patrol for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
In a personal tweet from the Kensington Royal account, William wrote: “Yesterday, I lost a friend, who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks. 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. W”
The park is almost 22,000 square kilometres and is the largest national park in Kenya – and one of the biggest in the world, according to the official website.
It is made up of two separate parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park, in the Coast Province of Kenya between Nairobi City and Mombasa.
The website states that the park is home to red elephants and large open spaces.
Yesterday, we received the tragic news that our friend and former employee, Mark Jenkins, and his son Peter, passed away when the plane they were flying crashed in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, while conducting an aerial patrol for the @SheldrickTrust https://t.co/mXWbqzpYOB
— Frankfurt Zoological Society 🍃 (@FZS_Frankfurt) December 9, 2022
William is a keen conservationist and last month urged the world not to be distracted by “turbulent times” and lose sight of the importance of protecting the natural world.
In a speech during the Tusk Conservation Awards, William said countries must “remain focused on investing in nature and the environment”.
The Frankfurt Zoological Society described Mr Jenkins as a “lifelong conservationist and experienced bush pilot, who dedicated his career to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks”.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been contacted for comment.