A world-renowned Kenyan conservationist and fossil hunter, Richard Leakey has died at the age of 77, said President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The paleoanthropologist was famous for helping in proving that humankind evolved in Africa.
"I have this afternoon, Sunday 2nd January 2022, received with deep sorrow the sad news of the passing away of Dr Richard Erskine Frere Leakey, Kenya's former Head of Public Service," said the President in an official statement.
He further said, "On behalf of the people of Kenya, my family and on my own behalf, I send heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and associates of Dr. Richard Leakey during this difficult period of mourning."
According to CNN report, Richard Leakey is best known for his discovery of fossils, particularly the 1984 excavation of the bones of "Turkana Boy," a nearly complete skeleton of a young male Homo erectus dating to 1.6 million years ago.
He was also a leading force in the campaign to stop poaching of elephants and rhinos in Kenya, said the Royal Society.
He is from a family of renowned archeologists. May Leakey, his mother, had discovered evidence in 1978 that man had walked upright way before it had been thought. Besides, she and her husband, Louis Leakey, had unearthed skulls of ape-like early humans.