Acrobatic Pilot Saves Wild Animals in Kenya

An american acrobatic pilot renowned for her skills at air shows is teaching advanced flying skills to Kenyan pilots to help them spot wildlife poachers. Patty Wagstaff has won three acrobatic flying championships. She also trains pilots and has been lending her time and expertise to wild elephant conservation. Wildlife poachers have said the top deterrent to poaching wild animals is air patrols. Flying so low and at slower speeds to spot poachers is dangerous for pilots in Kenya who sometimes have only basic flying skills.

Wagstaff teaches them in week-long clinics, partly funded by the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. From her they learn techniques that reduce mistakes which too often lead to crashes. They love to fly and care about wildlife, so they are happy to take to the sky and spot poachers. Wild elephants have been poached in Kenya for their ivory going back a long time. She has been working with the pilots for six years to reduce and stop it. The pilots there are associated with the Kenya Wildlife Service.

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5 Responses to “Acrobatic Pilot Saves Wild Animals in Kenya”

  1. Ana Zinger Says:

    Hooray Patty!

  2. Kudos to Patty Wagstaff. Airplanes are an excellent way to spot poachers, albeit sometimes dangerous considering they will shoot at a spotter plane.

    Poachers have also taken to the skies, which makes anti-poaching using planes even more important. Wildlife is fortunate to have people like Patty, and other pilots, who take personal risk to deter poaching.

  3. Anne Maher Says:

    More planes, more shifts for Patty, more pilots to train. Maybe our only hope.! Great work Lindbergh Foundation, Patty and KWS. Because with no Wildlife left soon, no tourism, no dollars for all the people.

  4. Patty is a true hero. There is hope yet in saving these beautiful animals from a life of torment and fear. Seeing these images just breaks my heart. Thank you Patty for your courageous efforts.

  5. Mark Radloff Says:

    Well done Patty. Any chance we can get a program like this in Tanzania?

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