Called “the last of the adventurers,” Mr. Beard photographed African fauna at great personal risk, and well into old age could party till dawn. He had been missing for 19 days.
Peter Beard, a New York photographer, artist and naturalist to whom the word “wild” was roundly applied, both for his death-defying photographs of African wildlife and for his own much-publicized days — decades, really — as an amorous, bibulous, pharmaceutically inclined man about town, was found dead in the woods on Sunday, almost three weeks after he disappeared from his home in Montauk on the East End of Long Island. He was 82.
He had dementia and had experienced at least one stroke. He was last seen on March 31, and the authorities had conducted an extensive search for him.
Mr. Beard’s best-known work was the book “The End of the Game,” first published in 1965. Comprising his text and photographs, it documented not only the vanishing romance of Africa — a place long prized by Western colonialists for its open savannas and abundant big game — but also the tragedy of the continent’s imperiled wildlife, in particular the elephant.