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United Kingdom’s Prince William Friday mourned the death of two wildlife reservists Mark Jenkins and his son Peter who died in a plane crash on Thursday at the Tsavo East National Park.

The Prince of Wales took to social media to express his grief while revealing his long-time friendship with the deceased.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Tonight, I’m thinking about Mark’s wife, family and colleagues who’ve sadly lost a man we all loved and admired.”

Jenkins, a wildlife ranger and his son Peter (a game warden) lost their lives after their aircraft crashed on Thursday morning while on patrol in the park's north-eastern boundary.

There are claims they may have been shot from the ground as they tried to drive out cattle that were in the park.

The Kenya Wildlife Service Wildlife Service said it learned with deep sorrow about a fixed-wing aircraft crash that occurred in the Kone area along the Tiva in Tsavo East National Park.

“The plane, a Cessna 185 registration number 5Y-DHS, belonged to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), crashed at around 7.15 hours while on patrol in Huri – the northeastern boundary of the park, regrettably instantly killing both occupants on board,” KWS said.

Prince William’s friendship with Jenkins dates back to 2001 when he visited Africa for a three-year period where he learnt about game conservation, wildlife and its environment.

The friendship blossomed since Jenkins was following Prince's work with the Tusk Trust.

Prince William is the patron of Tusk Trust, a UK charity organization, which protects endangered wildlife species.

Global conservation organization Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) based in Germany also paid tribute to the Jenkins, terming him as a "lifelong conservationist and experienced bush pilot." -CYRUS OMBATI, The Star

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