World Wildlife Fund chopper crash kills 24
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
KATMANDU, Nepal–A helicopter chartered by the World
Wildlife Fund crashed on September 23 near Gunsa, 250 kilometers
east of Katmandu, the Nepalese capital, killing all 24 people
The flight was transporting officials to a ceremony at which
management of the Kanchenjuna Conservation Area Project was to be
turned over to the community. The region attracts birders trekking
to see Himalayan monal, emerald doves, and maroon orioles, among
other rare high-elevation species.
“We knew many of those who passed away,” e-mailed Animal
Nepal founder Lucia DeVries. “The loss is enormous, as the best of
Nepal’s conservation people are among the deceased.”
DeVries mentioned frequently meeting on Animal Nepal business
with geographer Harka Gurung; former director of national parks and
wildlife conservation Tirtha Man Maskey; his successor Narayan
Poudel; and acting secretary of the ministry of forests and soil
conservation Damodar Parajuli.
World Wildlife Fund victims included Nepal representative Chandra P.
Gurung, United Kingdom conservation director Jill Bowling, U.K.
coordinator Jennifer Headley, U.S. program officer Matthew Preece,
and Nepalese officiers Mingma Norbu Sherpa and Yeshi Lama. Also
killed were U.S. and Finn diplomats, two journalists, the two
Russian pilots, and two Nepalese crew members.