Conservation Leader Says Goodbye

Tributes Pour In From Across The World As Conservation Leader Ian Player Passes Away In His Durban Home! Tributes have been pouring in from across the world, as international conservationist Ian Player passed away in his Durban home on Sunday. Player, who had suffered a stroke on Thursday was surrounded by close family at his […]

Tributes Pour In From Across The World As Conservation Leader Ian Player Passes Away In His Durban Home!

Tributes have been pouring in from across the world, as international conservationist Ian Player passed away in his Durban home on Sunday. Player, who had suffered a stroke on Thursday was surrounded by close family at his Karkloof home in his last few days. Player has played a huge part in in conservation in South Africa, having founded many environmental organizations. He is most noted across the world for his involvement and commitment to Rhino conservation.

In the 1950s, Player spearheaded rhino conservation, horseback riding through many game reserves on horse back with a small crew catching rhino poachers. In The 1960s, Player led the first ever Operation Rhino through the iMfolozi Game Reserve, and is instrumental in saving the Southern White Rhino from extinction.

Ian Player In 1955 With A Rhino (pi
Ian Player In 1955 With A Rhino (picture sourced from www.garyplayer.com)

President Jacob Zuma, who passed his condolences to the Player family said, “Dr Player played a significant role in the preservation of nature. His name is synonymous with conservation and the preservation of the environment for future generations. He did exceptionally well in this field, consistently, for decades, and managed to put South Africa on the map.His passing is a great loss for the nation and for the nature conservation community worldwide. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends in this country and all over the world.”

The Grandfather Of Conservation’s Pleas To Save The Rhino Population

Earlier this year, Player made a statement asking further leaders to do their part in nature conservation. Asking leaders to take over the baton, he said, “You have to ensure that ancient animals like the rhino continue to survive, so that your grandchildren will be able to see them too. We conservationists have done our duty to God and the animals. We now hand over the responsibility to you.”

Ian Player And Magqubu Ntombela In The 1960s
Ian Player And Magqubu Ntombela In The 1960s

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa who said that Ian’s work in conservation could not be beaten, also said, “We owe it to him to ensure that we do not allow the current onslaught on our rhino to succeed.”  Sadly however, South Africa reported the worst poaching figure of the rhino in it’s history, with over 1020 rhinos killed for their horns.

Rhino poaching is currently reaching record levels in South Africa. We urge you to ensure that Dr Ian Player’s incredible efforts to rescuing the Southern white rhino are not undone and that generations to come will enjoy the the beauty of this phenomenal creature.

Conservationist Ian Player with his beloved friend, mentor and wilderness guide, Magqubu Ntombela
Conservationist Ian Player with his beloved friend, mentor and wilderness guide, Magqubu Ntombela

Rest In Peace Dr. Ian Player. Kwa-Zulu Natal will forever be indebted to you and your amazing work. We hope to carry on your legacy and save this beautiful land.