Prince William revealed that a close friend of his and Kate Middleton’s has been tragically killed along with his son in a plane crash. Pilot Mark Jenkins was “a man we all loved and admired”, Prince William said, in a tweet sent from the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Twitter account.
Mark Jenkins and his son Peter were flying over Tsavo National Park in Kenya when their plane came down over the conservation area.
The friends first met on Prince William’s gap year and have met-up a number of times since. Mark Jenkins was a popular Kenya Wildlife Service warden with a love for flying, committed to protecting wildlife in east Africa.
“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,” Prince William said.
A tribute by the Frankfurt Zoological Society said: “Mark was 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,” it added.