Renowned Kenyan conservationist and research scientist Cosmas Wambua is dead at 48.
Wambua who worked with Action for Cheetahs Kenya died after a short illness while in his place of work in Samburu county. His body was airlifted to Nairobi awaiting burial arrangements.
Wambua came to the limelight years ago for his passion for the conservation of cheetahs and got featured on CNN, wildlife warriors, and National Geographic.
In 2016 he worked as a part-time lecturer at South Eastern Kenya University(SEKU) before returning to the organization as a full-time cheetah survey logistics consultant.
His boss Mary Wykstra noted that Wambua died in his sleep after developing flu-like symptoms a few days early this week.
She termed Wambua as a dedicated worker who helped in the solid foundation of the organization and his death hit the organisation and colleagues.
He had been working with the organization since 2002 holding various positions and his efforts contributed to the stabilization of the cheetah population in Northern Kenya.
“He was a solid and consistent manager always taking culture and science into
consideration. He quickly developed relationships in every area where he
worked. He loved working with people and he loved working with distance
software to analyze trends in cheetahs and other species,” Mary Wykstra said.
“He laid the foundation of the Action for Cheetahs in Kenya project which he co-founded. Without Cosmas, ACK would not have had the success or impact on cheetah conservation. Even though his first love was wild dogs and his first project work was with elephants, Cosmas grasped the opportunity to build a legacy. Evidence of his love for cheetahs can be seen in the various interviews he conducted for Wildlife Warriors and National Geographic,” she added.
His cousin Daniel Musembi said Wambua was a true visionary and conservation would not be the same again without him.
“Cosy was very passionate about Conservation. We always drifted to discuss nature and what we ought to do to preserve or better the environment,” he said.
The father of two will be laid to rest at his home in Kyanzasu village, Machakos county on Tuesday next week.