Chris Jackson/AFP/GettyImages, Tusk USA
Prince William has always had an affinity for Kenyan wildlife—he proposed to Kate Middleton on a Kenyan safari, and Prince George‘s nursery is full of paintings of African animals.
With the recent tragic killing of Cecil the Lion, Africa’s heinous poaching problem has been receiving widespread attention.
The 33-year-old prince announced that Edward Ndiritu, Head of the Anti-Poaching Unit for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, is the first recipient of the Wildlife Ranger Award through William’s conservation charity, Tusk Trust.
The Duke of Cambridge said in a letter, “May I take the opportunity to personally congratulate you on this richly deserved award and to thank you for the extraordinary contribution you and your team at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have made towards both the protection of wildlife and increased security for the rural communities of northern Kenya.”
Ndiritue, 42, commands a team of 83 rangers guarding 44,000 square-kilometer conservation area of Kenya run by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust.
Charlie Mayhew MBE, Tusk’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement, “Edward is an exceptional man, whose professionalism and dedication has earned him huge respect not only amongst his team but across the wider conservation community in Kenya.”
Poaching has always been an important issue to Prince William, especially after one of the endangered black rhinos on the Lewa conservation, Max, was slaughtered by poachers.
The royal conservationist views poaching as “extremely ignorant, selfish and utterly wrong.”
Jimmy Kimmel agrees. Watch below:
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