The Royal Family

Prince William Breaks Silence To Pay Tribute After Sad Death

Prince William has broken his silence during the Christmas holidays to pay a personal tribute to the Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey, who has died aged 77.

In a tweet, Prince William wrote: “I was very sad to hear of Richard Leakey’s death. He was an inspirational & courageous conservationist and I was privileged to meet him.

“He transformed the Kenyan Wildlife Service & valiantly spearheaded efforts to stop elephant poaching. Conservation has lost a true visionary. W.”

The world-renowned Kenyan paleoanthropologist and fossil hunter died on Sunday, the country’s president Uhuru Kenyatta said.

He said: “I have this afternoon… received with deep sorrow the sad news of the passing away of Dr Richard Erskine Frere Leakey.”

Kenyatta said: “Besides his distinguished career in the public service, Dr. Leakey is celebrated for his prominent role in Kenya’s vibrant civil society where he founded and successfully ran a number of institutions.” He added that Richard had “served our country with distinction”.

The cause of death was not confirmed.

Leakey remained energetic into his 70s despite bouts of skin cancer, kidney and liver disease.  He followed in his parents’ footsteps in paleoanthropology – the practice of seeking to understand human evolution by studying fossils and ancient tools.

Prince William has long worked on conservation, having been the patron of the wildlife charity Tusk since 2005.

And in 2017, Tusk Trust actually honored Richard Leakey with a lifetime award for his contribution towards wildlife conservation.

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