Duke of Cambridge leads tributes to Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey

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The Duke of Cambridge delivers a speech during the Tusk Conservation Awards  (PA Wire)
The Duke of Cambridge delivers a speech during the Tusk Conservation Awards (PA Wire)

Prince William has paid tribute after Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey died aged 77.

Mr Leakey was well known for his fossil-finding and conservation work in his native Kenya.

The Duke of Cambridge shared some kind words about the late conservationist on Twitter on Monday.

In particular, he celebrated Mr Leakey’s efforts to stop elephant poaching in his tweet paying tribute to his memory.

In a tweet signed W, he said: “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 duke has long worked on conservation, having been the patron of the wildlife charity Tusk since 2005.

It was during a visit to Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania in the autumn of 2018 that he come up with the idea for his climate change initiative, the Earthshot Prize.

During the trip, he met with frontline conservation workers and those from local communities.

Mr Leakey’s amazing discoveries helped prove humankind evolved in Africa.

He was the son of globally renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey.

The fossil expert kept active into his 70s despite bouts of skin cancer and kidney and liver disease.

Also, he held a number of public service leadership roles including director of the National Museums of Kenya and what became the Kenya Wildlife Service.

President Uhuru Kenyatta broke the sad news late on Sunday.

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

The cause of death was not confirmed.

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