By John Burton, WLT Founder CEO
Today we received the very sad news that Ashok Kumar died, aged 81. Ashok was the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), and one of the greatest conservationists of his generation.
He worked with Vivek Menon, Tara Gandhi and Thomas Matthew to found WTI, as well as becoming the very distinguished and outspoken Founder and Director of the Indian branch of TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, leading the way in combatting wildlife crime in India.
I will always have very fond memories of evenings spent with Ashok, particularly in and around Corbett National Park – he had a home nearby. His bank of knowledge and stories was limitless.
I first met Ashok back in the early 1980s and together with M. K. Ranjitsinh, his support for WTI was one of the main factors influencing WLT to work with Vivek Menon and WTI, a partnership which is today stronger than ever. He leaves an impressive legacy of wildlife protection, and will be missed.