CONSERVATIONIST MURDER IN LAIKIPIA TRIGGERS MAN HUNT
(Posted 26th August 2013)
The Director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Eastern Unit, Mr. David Parkinson OBE, was in the early hours of Sunday night killed under unclear circumstances in his farm home after an attack by at least 5 armed robbers. His wife managed to escape after being injured in the initial stages of the attack, then reportedly hid and later raised the alarm after the gang had left the property. According to information at hand the gang had demanded money and any firearms kept in the house.
Suspicions were flying high late on Sunday when the news became more widely available that other motives could have played a role on the attack, as Mr. Parkinson was not just the manager of the Loldaiga Ranch but also very active in wildlife conservation in the Laikipia region of Kenya, where he was a director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, a group active in promoting anti poaching and coexistence of wildlife with livestock and people in this part of the country. The Laikipia Wildlife Forum (www.laikipia.org) is one of Kenya’s key privately organized conservation groups and has been working hand in hand with the Kenya Wildlife Service, been running tourism support programmes (see related link to www.laikipiatourism.com) and engaged on a broad front with local communities through education programmes, rangeland rehabilitation
Previously had David also worked at the Lewa Conservancy, itself like other wildlife conservancies in the wider Laikipia area subject to multiple poaching attacks on rhinos and other game in recent months.
It is understood from conservation sources in Nairobi that security operatives have arrested one suspect and have used sniffer dogs to track down others in an attempt to nab more and in particular establish the exact motive of the attack. Condolences go to his wife Sonja, his family, friends and colleagues.