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Rhino conservationist dead at 87

White rhino.
White rhino in South Africa. Photo by Rhett Butler

South African conservationist Ian Player has died at the age of 87.

Player, the brother of professional Gary Player, had an instrumental role in helping white rhinos recover after a brush with extinction.

“A globally recognized conservation legend, Dr Ian Player was a pioneer, a visionary and an activist who has profoundly influenced conservation and changed the lives of countless people,” said the Wilderness Foundation, a South Africa-based conservation group that he founded, in a statement. “Ian Player committed his life to conservation and, in particular, to the preservation of the rhino.”

Player’s efforts to save African wildlife and train new generations of conservationists and rangers won him many accolades, including an honorary doctorate. He founded the Wilderness Foundation (Africa), the Wilderness Foundation (UK), the WILD Foundation, and the Magqubu Ntombela Memorial Foundation.

Player is survived by his wife Ann Player, three children, and their families.

Selected Obituaries

  • Ian Player, Conservationist Who Helped Save White Rhinos, Dies at 87 (New York Times)

  • Renowned conservationist Ian Player dies
    (IOI News)
  • South African conservationist Ian Player dies (Associated Press)

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