Prince William saddened by pilot death
Prince William has been left “saddened” by the death of pilot Robert Gower.
The helicopter pilot was shot down by elephant poachers in Tanzania in the Maswa Game Reserve, near Serengeti National Park and William – who is the royal patron of the wildlife conservation charity Tusk Trust – revealed his sadness at the death.
Although he did not know Mr Gower personally, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Duke was saddened that yet another life had been lost due to poaching.”
Last year William hit out against the “plunder and destruction” of African wildlife.
Attending the 25th anniversary of the Tusk Trust at Windsor Castle he said that wildlife hunting is “growing worse by the week”.
The Duke of Cambridge said: “The plunder and destruction of Africa’s natural endowment remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world – and it is growing worse by the week.
“Over the last 100 years, the abundance of the world’s species has decreased by almost a third. But the picture in the last few years has seen a genuinely unprecedented rise in the numbers of animals being slaughtered for their body parts.
“With the illegal trade on the rise, our response to it must rapidly evolve. The time for words has long gone – we must see action.”
Prince William went on to praise the Tusk Trust, led by CEO Charlie Mayhew, for raising $39million in 25 years for over 100 projects, protecting 36 different endangered species.