In the wake of the death of Cecil the lion, committed conservationist Prince William is doing his part to prevent unnecessary hunting in Africa by awarding a Kenyan ranger for his efforts against poachers. The royal announced that Edward Ndiritu, Head of the Anti-Poaching Unit for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, is the first winner of the Wildlife Ranger Award on behalf of William's conservation charity, Tusk Trust.
"May I take the opportunity to personally congratulate you on this richly deserved award and to thank you for the extraordinary contribution you and your team at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have made towards both the protection of wildlife and increased security for the rural communities of northern Kenya," William said in a letter released on World Ranger Day, July 31.
A proud Edward, who will travel to London in November to receive the award, posed for a picture with the letter after the organization said he was chosen for his "outstanding leadership and commitment in face of the escalating threat from poachers." The 42-year-old ranger covers a large conservation area of Kenya run by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust where there has been a decline in the number of rhino and elephants that have been poached in the region.
— TNC Africa (@Nature_Africa) August 2, 2015
The cause is one that's close to William's heart as he's been a patron of the Tusk Trust since 2005 and has a special personal bond with the continent. The 33-year-old not only proposed to wife Kate Middleton there, but also has decorated his son Prince George's nursery in an African theme. "Africa is my second home," William said in footage filmed for a Sky1 documentary in 2010. "When I step off the plane I'm like, 'Yes, I'm back.' "
A love of Africa runs in the family. Prince Harry arrived in Namibia last month to help fight against threats to endangered species, William's sister-in-law PIppa Middleton just ran a marathon in Kenya to support the cause, and both William's father and grandfather have supported the Tusk Trust.