Washington - The following statement is attributable to Carter S. Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in response to the news today that a helicopter carrying several WWF staff members and high level government representatives was reported found in Nepal with no apparent survivors.
"I am deeply saddened to inform you that we have received word that the helicopter missing in Nepal has been found without any apparent survivors. Roughly 30 minutes ago we learned from our office in Nepal that a crash sight was found 1.8 kilometers (1.15 miles) from Ghunsa village by a search team who had hiked in on foot. This tragic event marks the single greatest loss of life in WWF's 45-year history.
"We have already notified the families of the seven WWF staff members who were on board and will work with them to help coordinate funeral and other logistics. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones at this time of profound loss."
"While we will find a way to appropriately honor the inspiring accomplishments of the seven members of the WWF family whose lives were lost on this flight, I am humbled by the work and dedication that Dr. Chandra Gurung, Dr. Harka Gurung, Jennifer Headley, Dr. Jill Bowling, Matthew Preece, Mingma Norbu Sherpa and Yeshi Lama brought to WWF. They are conservation heroes and will be sorely missed by all of us."
"Many people have asked how they can help. We will talk with the families of our colleagues to understand how we can best support them. And we will also talk with them on how we can best honor and recognize the legacy of their work. I will update you on those discussions over coming days and weeks."
"This is a time of profound sadness for all of us in the WWF Family. For now we will grieve together for these lost colleagues and do what we can to comfort their families and honor their sacrifice and accomplishments."