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ambush Body of Irish wildlife activist killed by jihadists in Burkina Faso has been brought back to Europe


Rory Young was killed in an ambush in Eastern Burkina Faso on Monday morning.

Rory Young was killed in an ambush in Eastern Burkina Faso on Monday morning.

Rory Young was killed in an ambush in Eastern Burkina Faso on Monday morning.

THE bodies of an Irish wildlife activist and two Spanish journalists killed by jihadists in an ambush in Burkina Faso have been brought back to Europe.

Rory Young, 48, an anti-poaching activist, was killed with journalists David Beriain, 44, and Roberto Fraile, 47, who were accompanying him on a poaching patrol in eastern Burkina Faso on Monday.

Their bodies were flown to Madrid from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on an Airbus provided by the Spanish military on Friday.

The Irish Ambassador to Spain Síle Maguire was at the airport when Mr Young’s body arrived.

His remains were then transported to the Netherlands where he lived with his Dutch wife and children on later on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "Transport from Burkina Faso to Madrid was facilitated by the Government of Spain, who repatriated the remains of the two Spanish citizens who also tragically lost their lives - David Beriain and Roberto Fraile.

"The Department remains in contact with the family of Rory Young and is providing Consular support as required."

Mr Young, who was born in Zambia but had Irish citizenship, was head of the Chengeta Wildlife group.

He was accompanying the journalists who were filming a documentary on poaching in the country when the attack occurred.

A online fundraising page set up by Rory’s colleagues at the Chengeta Wildlife Group to help his family has raised almost €30,000 in just one day.

The Rory Young Family Memorial Fund was set up on GoFundMe on Friday.

Lisa Groeneweg, who set up the fund on behalf of the group, said Rory did conservation work, successfully, in dangerous areas of the world.

“He didn't want to be there, it was not fun. Yet, selflessly he felt compelled to help the rangers, communities and the wildlife because he possessed the unique skills and knowledge that were needed.”

Lisa said while Rory was dedicated to conservation work, his family meant more to him than anything.

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“It is not hard to believe that Rory's last thoughts would have been for his precious family – his beautiful wife and two children.

“From the incredible outpouring of grief from the Chengeta team, friends, supporters and others in the conservation world, we hope he knew that collectively we would try to help his family, at least lessen some of the financial burden his untimely death has brought.

“His family was the apple of his eye.

“When asked how he could leave his family and risk his life for his work he said he would rather have his children see him as a man who would do this important work and not a man who would shirk his responsibilities.”

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