The Times of Tanzania

Mkomazi Rhino Project Founder, Tony Fitzjohn Dies

Tony Fitzjohn, the Wildlife Conservator who initiated the Black Rhino and Wild Dogs Projects at Mkomazi is, sadly, no more!

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Legendary Conservationist Sir Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn OBE, who initiated the Black Rhino Project at Mkomazi National Park, has passed away.

Mkomazi mourns Tony

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala has also dispatched message of condolence to the conservator’s family.

News of Fitzjohn demise was initially broken by Sarah Valentine, the former Photographer at Laurel Magazine as well Bascom. She is the owner and Operator at ‘Uncharted Destinations.’

The late Tony Fitzjohn who inherited his traits from the late George Adamson his mentor during their time at Kora National Park in Kenya, also founded the African Wild Dog breeding program at Mkomazi.

Tony’s works at Mkomazi National Park

A trainer for other wildlife trainers, Fitzjohn was famous for his documentaries such as ‘The Leopards of Kora’ and ‘To Walk with Lions!’

His documentaries were mostly inspired by his lifelong passion for wildlife conservation efforts across the East African region.

Like his mentor, George Adamson, Tony cultured deep love and passion for wildlife but especially lions.

He contributed towards wildlife conservation and education throughout his life.

His rhino sanctuary and the program for breeding and releasing endangered African wild dogs earned Tony Fitzjohn the prestigious Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded to him by the Her Majesty   Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Wanna ride?

Fitzjohn believed that George Adamson, who was shot dead in 1989 allegedly by Somali Bandits in Kenya, was murdered by design to stop his conservation work.

According to Fitzjohn, Adamson work at Kora may have gained him global approval, but some other people did not like the development as they were benefiting from a chaotic Kora.

In their lifetime, both Fitzjohn and Adamson reintroduced more than 30 lions and 10 leopards into the wild.

  1. Stoffel Tim says

    Go run with the lions, Tony!🦁🦁🦁

  2. Shirley Keene says

    So very, very sad that Tony Fitzjohn has died. What a beacon he was for the conservation and wellbeing of wild animals! Following in the footsteps of his legendary mentor, George Adamson, Tony worked tirelessly, often against the odds, for the benefit of his beloved lions, leopards and African wild dogs. He was inspirational, raising awareness and funds for his cause, often in very imaginative and unconventional ways. To say he will be greatly missed is an understatement as he was a unique animal conservationist and human being. We must now ensure that his legacy and work live on. On behalf of all the animals, thank you, Tony, for being our friend.

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