Feb 10, 2022
Son of famous paleoanthropologists, Mary and Louis Leakey, Richard Leakey was also famous for his discoveries on the origins of early humans, particularly the nearly complete skeletal remains of what became known as Turkana Boy. As a Kenyan of British descent, Richard Leakey lived a fascinating life in East Africa as a researcher and conservationist. In 1989, Leakey was named the head of the Kenyan Wildlife Conservation and Management Department which eventually became what is known today as the Kenya Wildlife Service. At the time, much of Africa experienced historical levels of poaching of elephants for ivory and Kenya's economy was at risk of losing its important wildlife tourism industry. One of Leakey's first decisions was to implement a controversial shoot on sight policy for any poachers. Conservation writer, Jeremy Hance returns to discuss the Leakey family's contributions to science and conservation.