Following the statement issued by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and having fully informed the next of kin, it is with great sadness that the Malawian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and African Parks confirm the death of a British Military soldier in Liwonde National Park, Malawi. On Sunday May 5th, British Military Guardsman Mathew Talbot was fatally wounded by an elephant which unexpectedly charged while he was on a patrol exercise with a group of Liwonde park rangers and British Military soldiers in the park.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife, African Parks and the British Military are coordinating to fully investigate the circumstances around the incident, and to help with the provision of support to all who are affected by this tragedy.

Mathew Talbot, a Guardsman of The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, had volunteered to be part of a British Military deployment to Liwonde National Park. The deployment, which begun early April after a training session in the park, is aimed at supporting local ranger and British soldier training efforts through a collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and African Parks. This is the third deployment of its kind to Malawi and follows the commitment the British Government made in 2016 to provide technical expertise to the Malawi Government in its fight against wildlife crime.

It is, indeed, very saddening to see cooperating partners lose a precious life for the sake of saving our wildlife. This speaks volumes of the commitment our partners like the UK Government have to seeing wildlife crime wiped out for the betterment of all Malawians.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife and African Parks, therefore, extend their deepest sympathies to the family, friends and all who are mourning this devastating loss. To read the statement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) please click here.

For media enquiries, please contact:

African Parks: Fran Read, E-mail: franr@africanparks.org, Tel: +27 82 383 7558

DNPW: Brighton Kumchedwa, Director, brightkumchedwa@wildlifemw.net, Tel +265 999915411

For further information from the British Ministry of Defence, please refer to their statement here.

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