GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec. 11, CMC – Well known Guyanese conservationist, wildlife expert and pioneer, Diane McTurk died on Saturday at the age of 84.
In a statement from the Karanambu Lodge, which she founded, the company said she passed away peacefully after a brief period of illness.
McTurk made the North Rupununi her home for decades and became best known worldwide for her efforts to protect the Giant Otter.
President David Granger who offered sympathy to her family and friends said “Ms. McTurk, who was a pioneer for ‘green’ development and eco-tourism, converted her family’s former working cattle ranch and balata collection station—established in 1927 by her father, Tiny McTurk—into an eco-tourism destination known as The Karanambu Lodge in the mid-1980s.”
“All Guyanese can be inspired by her commitment to the conservation of the Rupununi savannah and wetlands ecosystem, even as the country moves towards the development of a ‘green’ state”.
He said Guyana needs more champions of the environment like McTurk, “who can advance the principles of the sustainable use of the environment and the protection of our bio-diversity”.
“May her legacy be the responsible use of our natural resources through wildlife and habitat conservation, research, and education in partnership with international agencies and local communities.”
McTurk was born at Karanambu soon after her pioneer father, Tiny McTurk, established a cattle ranch there.