Tamil Diplomat

Tanzania elephant poachers kill British helicopter pilot

A British helicopter pilot has been shot dead by elephant poachers in Tanzania, the conservation charity for which he was working has said.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund said Roger Gower had been tracking poachers on Friday in the Maswa Game Reserve when they fired on his helicopter. One of his colleagues said he had been shot as he flew near the carcass of one of three elephants killed by poachers. Charity founder Dan Friedkin said the organisation had lost “a dear friend”. The Foreign Office has confirmed the death of a UK national in Tanzania and said it was providing assistance to the family.

‘Great pilot’

Pratik Patel, of the Friedkin Conservation Fund, said Mr Gower had been approaching the last of three elephants killed by poachers when he was shot. He paid tribute to “a great guy, a great friend, a great pilot” who he said had loved working with Tanzania’s wildlife. Mr Patel said Mr Gower’s main role had been flying people between the different camps on the reserve where he worked, but he had also flown daily patrols to support ground staff in their work against poachers. (BBC News, 2016)