Prince William has paid tribute to his friend who was killed while flying over an East African National Park on Thursday (December 8) while carrying out an aerial patrol. Prince William tweeted to pay his respects to Mark Jenkins and his son Peter after the plane they were flying crashed into Tsavo National Park.
The tweet read: “Yesterday, I lost a friend, who dedicated his life to protecting wildlife in some of East Africa’s most renowned national parks.” 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. As well as being an experienced pilot, 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.
Frankfurt Zoological Society issued a statement about the tragedy, describing 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.”
“Passionate, principled, and strong-willed, Mark was never afraid to speak his mind and stand for what he believed in. 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. 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.”
The Frankfurt Zoological Society also 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.