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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

British soldier sent to Malawi on anti-poaching mission killed in reported incident with elephant

The British army announced it would deploy soldiers to Malawi to tackle the growing issue of poaching

Image: Defence ministry UK

A BRITISH SOLDIER sent to Malawi on an anti-poaching mission has been killed, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said. 

Guardsman Mathew Talbot had previously been stationed in London carrying out state and ceremonial duties before moving to counter poaching operations. 

Authorities today confirmed he was killed in an accident on Saturday, while the British media is reporting that he was killed in an incident involving an elephant.

“It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, who has tragically died on counter poaching operations in Malawi on 5 May 2019,” a statement said. 

“Mathew was an exceptionally kind and friendly individual. In Malawi he was often to be found befriending the locals and learning their language, which he did remarkably quickly.

“He became good friends with the Gurkhas attached to the team and took time to try and learn Nepali. Mathew was a very keen photographer, documenting his time in the military with countless albums of his work.

Following a pilot programme in 2017, the British army announced it would deploy soldiers to Malawi to tackle the growing issue of poaching. 

Talbot’s commander, Lt Col Ed Launders said: “It was typical of his character to volunteer for an important and challenging role in Malawi. He was hugely proud to of his work as a Counter-Poaching Operator, and tragically died doing great good.

“My deepest condolences go to his parents, family and loved-ones. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this desperately sad time.”

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