Sunday, 25 August, 2019

British soldier killed by elephant during anti-poaching patrol

British soldier Matthew Talbot dies while tackling poachers in Malawi - Daily Star British soldier killed by elephant during anti-poaching operation in Malawi
Patty Aguilar | 09 May, 2019, 17:32

Lt Col Ed Launders MBE Commanding Officer said: "I will always feel honoured to have served alongside Guardsman Mathew Talbot".

He leaves behind his father Steven, his mother Michelle, his sisters Aimee and Isabel, and his girlfriend, Olivia. "We will sorely miss his humor, selflessness and unbeatable spirit".

There are now more than 30 British troops now based in Malawi, where they are working to combat the illegal wildlife trade by training local park rangers in tracking, communications, surveillance, and intelligence-sharing.

The Telegraph quotes Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt as saying she was "deeply saddened" by the death of Guardsman Mathew Talbot while involved in counter-poaching efforts in Malawi.

"With his keen interest in military history he was proud to have joined a regiment with such a rich and long lineage", the statement said. Malawi was his first operational deployment and the MOD said he "took great pride" in counter-poaching.

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Park rangers are taught skills such as tracking, partnered patrolling, communications, surveillance, and intelligence-sharing - with the first deployment taking place in August 2017.

British media reported that the soldier was believed to have been trampled by an elephant.

His company commander, Major Richard Wright, said: "Guardsman Talbot bravely lost his life whilst ensuring that endangered species will be around for future generations to learn from and enjoy".

The training offered by British troops to local game rangers was funded by the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, run by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A portion of the additional funding went to the Wildlife Crimes Investigations and Intelligence Unit, which seized 1,000 kg of illegal ivory past year and made 114 arrests.

Elephants, rhinos and lions are among the most threatened species in Africa, according to Metro, and the elephant population in Malawi has decreased from 4000 to 2000 in the last 30 years. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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