Dr. Anthony King, renowned Kenyan conservationist, dies in Mt. Kenya plane crash


Dr. Anthony King, former CEO of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum and more recently manager of the Ngolale Ranch in Rumuruti, died yesterday afternoon when his plane crashed on Mt. Kenya after taking off from the Nanyuki airfield earlier on. The light aircraft, an Aeroprakt A22 Foxbat, was registered in Kenya as 5Y-LWF, was owned by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum and sadly also carried a Canadian journalist as the sole passenger, with Dr. King piloting the plane.

According to Kenyan aviation sources the aircraft was reportedly in a good mechanical condition prior to the last flight and those regularly flying across and around Mt. Kenya have reiterated that sudden gusts of wind often buffet light aircraft and may in this case have been a contributory factor in the crash.

The wreck was located after an aerial search at around 14.500 ft above sea level near Lake Michaelson, where according to other sources a similar crash had happened in 1976, when it did not return nor respond to radio contacts.

Dr. King enjoyed a hero like reputation among Kenya’s conservation fraternity for the work he did in the past at LWF and for his most recent involvement in developing a conservation strategy for Kenya.

The Board of LWF issued the following statement:

The Board, membership and staff of Laikipia Wildlife Forum are left with a terrible void in our midst that will be difficult to fill. Our loss however painful cannot compare to that suffered by his family. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Delphine, Oscar and Lorian and the entire King family. We wish them strength and grace during this difficult time.

Fare thee well, Anthony. Thanks for everything you gave us.

Dr. Mordecai Ogada, Executive Director LWF

Keep checking on www.laikipia.org for more information regarding funeral arrangements. We will keep the website updated.

This correspondent too extends his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Anthony, who will be sorely missed by all those struggling for conservation not only in Kenya but the entire region. Until we meet again!

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