Anton Mzimba murder: ‘Deeply saddened’ Prince William wants animal ranger’s killers ‘brought to justice’

The Duke asked for swift justice for Anton Mzimba, the Head of Ranger Services at the Timbavati Nature Reserve


                            Anton Mzimba murder: ‘Deeply saddened’ Prince William wants animal ranger’s killers ‘brought to justice’
Prince William (L) and Anton Mzimba (R) (Image Courtesy: Yui Mok/Getty, Global Conservation Corps)
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On July 27, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton paid tribute to the former Head of Ranger Services at Timbavati Nature Reserve, who was shot dead on July 26, 2022. Taking to their joint Twitter account, Prince William wrote about the ranger, Anton Mzimba, and pled for stringent action against his shooters. 

The Helping Rhinos Organization tweeted about Anton's demise, and the "daily threats" rangers have to face. Anton had passed his basic training to become "one of the youngest field rangers" in his unit, and in 2003, he was given the responsibility "to keep his ranger team fit physically and mentally" as a Full Corporal Instructor. Since 2008, Anton had been serving as the Head of Ranger Services in the national park.

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Last year, Prince William spoke with Anton on his visit to Microsoft's offices in Reading about a new device to combat ivory smuggling. Prince William had asked him, "What has been the effect of the pandemic on poaching and on funding for you guys? Was there a spike in poaching?" Reports say it was here that Anton told him, "This is a very well-organized crime. It involves local people. But, down the line, it goes across the border of the country.” 

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Prince William spoke with Mzimba in a conference call on November 18, during a visit to Microsoft Headquarters (Pool via Getty)
Prince William spoke with Mzimba in a conference call on November 18, during a visit to Microsoft Headquarters (Pool via Getty)

This Wednesday, the royal couple's tweet read, "I’m deeply saddened to learn of the killing of Anton Mzimba, who I spoke to in November. Committed and brave, rangers like Anton are central to the conservation of Africa’s fantastic wildlife. Those responsible must swiftly be brought to justice. My thoughts are with his family. W"

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Tributes poured in for the brave ranger, and Helping Rhinos informed, "Head of Ranger at Timbavati, Anton Mzimba, was shot and killed outside of his home last night. This follows recent death threats and highlights the daily threat facing Rangers. Our deepest condolences to Anton’s loved ones and co-workers at this difficult time." Even the Timbavati National Park wrote a post on their website for Anton, calling him "an exceptionally passionate, courageous, and spiritual man," they outlined his career, which began in 1997 as an erosion fieldwork team member.

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Additionally, Prince Williams had a vast history of being involved in environmentally conscious activities. He founded United for Wildlife in 2014 to stop poaching and the animal flesh trade. He said, "Like so many others, I am deeply saddened by the numbers of elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks, horns and scales. He shed light on crimes against rangers and added that trade affects all spheres equally and that "Too many brave rangers are tragically killed each year by poachers."

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Anton was a very self-driven man who strove to help animals and raise his voice for them. Prayers poured all over social media as the news of his murder reached far and wide. "There has been no greater man," read the tribute written by the Natural Reserve.



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