Simon Coombes was born in Britain but moved to Kenya when he was five years old with his parents and brother. As an adult, he joined the Kenyan Army, where he served as a major in the guerrilla conflict with Somalia. During his time with the army he began painting.
He moved back to England in 1978 so that his children could have an English education.
Kenya was where his love of conservation and animals grew, and in 2003 he was appointed as the project director for Kenya by the Rhino Rescue Trust. He said he had been chased by elephants, put up a tree by a rhino and bitten by a Bengal tiger.
His work won a number of awards, including the Society of Animal Artists’ award of excellence.
Sadly, Simon was killed by the creatures he loved the most, he was trampled by a rhino in the Kenyan Great Rift Valley in 2004.