Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter account published a string of tweets on the tragedy, stating the ranger was “potentially assassinated in his home and his wife severely injured”.
The discovery was made on the same day William‘s patronage, the Tusk Trust, had launched its multi-million dollar fundraising initiative, the 2022 Wildlife Ranger Challenge.
This project, to culminate in a 21-kilometre-long half marathon on September 17 accompanied by a series of mental and physical challenges, aims at generating further support for rangers across Africa, who works on the frontline to protect the continent’s habitat, fight poaching and wildlife crime and support conservation efforts.
The Twitter thread ended with a statement penned by the Duke and signed off with his initial, W.
It read: “The devastating news about Anton, who exemplified courage and commitment, illustrates the threat rangers face every day.
“And it reminds us of the human cost as Anton’s family mourn the loss of a husband and a father.
“A ranger’s job is crucial, but can be dangerous as they are regularly confronted by organised crime.
“Last Sunday marked World Ranger Day.
“While we remember Anton, it is vital that we provide the right support, generated through organisations like Tusk or our work with United for Wildlife, so that incidents like this don’t happen again.”
The Royal Foundation and Prince William founded United for Wildlife in 2014, with the aim of protecting endangered species and their habitats from illegal trade and poaching.
The Cambridges’ Twitter thread further highlighted the dangers faced daily by rangers fighting for conservation in Africa.
Tweets accompanying the Duke’s statement read: “Rangers like Anton are on the frontline of conservation, protecting people as well as wildlife.
“Among many roles, they are teachers, carers and researchers, looking out for a natural world that can’t defend itself.
“This is dangerous work. More than 1000 rangers have been killed in the last ten years, and they need our support more than ever.
“There are programmes out there: @Tusk_org has been working with rangers and communities in more than 20 countries for over 30 years to help amplify conservation initiatives.
“Their work has increased protection for more than 70 million hectares of land and 40 threatened species.”
Conservation group Helping Rhinos said Mr Mzimba was shot and killed outside his home on July 26.
They tweeted last week: “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”.
Prince William said to be “deeply saddened” in his first statement regarding the death of Mr Mzimba.
He wrote on Twitter last week: “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.”
William’s conversation with Mr Mzimba last year focused on the difficulties faced by rangers in combatting poaching and a new technology helping conservationists to detect illegal wildlife items concealed in baggage and cargo.
The Duke also heard about the potential of this technology, called Microsoft’s SEEKER, as part of his work with The Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife, whose partners helped the project in development.