How come KNP mentions nothing in their Newsmedia section of this amazing man?Skukuza - He faced off against charging elephant, hippos, lions and buffalo, but in the end it was the miniscule mosquito that brought down one of South Africa's most famous game rangers.
Bruce Bryden, 61, retired Kruger National Park head ranger, renowned conservationist and author, passed away last week after contracting malaria on a fishing trip in Mozambique.
He and some friends went fishing to celebrate his birthday and, despite continually spraying themselves with mosquito repellent, he was bitten.
He later complained of flu-like symptoms, but didn't realise it was malaria. He was then admitted to a private hospital in Knysna on Friday where he passed away on Saturday.
Mother Nature cries
"It is said that when a big tusker (elephant) or a great spirit passes, Mother Nature opens her heavens and cries. On May 16 one of her favourite sons died and she cried. Maybe even more than me," said his daughter, Annie Baptiste, in her tribute to her late father.
She said he was a "large man in more ways than one" and that he did everything on a large scale.
"There are so few people who can say they have really lived. Bruce was one of them," she added.
Started career in 1971
Bryden was born and grew up in Johannesburg, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and an honours degree in wildlife management from the University of Pretoria.
In 1971 he started his career at the Kruger National Park as a graduate assistant biologist and progressed through the ranks until he was promoted chief ranger in 1983. He held various other posts at the park, including head of conservation support services, until his retirement in 2001.
He and his wife Helena moved to Knysna where he wrote the bestselling book A Game Ranger Remembers, a collection of stories about the life of a bushveld conservationist that was published in 2005.
He is survived by his wife, two children, a grandson and granddaughter. I believe he was also Kobie Kruger and her hubby's boss at the time when they were stationed in Kruger. He was still a good friend of them in Knysna - I believe. I just want to send my condolences to his next of kin. I never met him, but I do believe he had a passion for our beloved Kruger and all animals thus will be missed.
Appreciate life, don't take anything for granted.