Elephant and rhino trade investigator is killed in Kenya

05 February 2018 - 12:18 By Timeslive
Wildlife-trade researcher and geographer, Esmond Bradley Martin, has died under suspicious circumstances at his Nairobi home.
Wildlife-trade researcher and geographer, Esmond Bradley Martin, has died under suspicious circumstances at his Nairobi home.
Image: Save the Elephants via Facebook

Conservationists are paying tribute on Monday to wildlife-trade researcher and geographer Esmond Bradley Martin‚ who has died at his home in Nairobi‚ Kenya.

The BBC and Nairobi publications have reported that the US citizen‚ 75‚ was found stabbed to death on Sunday. He was known for his investigations undercover into the illegal trade in rhino horn and ivory.

Save the Elephants on Monday said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" at his death.

"One of the world’s leading ivory trade experts‚ (Esmond's surveys) shone a powerful spotlight on the wildlife markets around the world that are sucking ivory‚ rhino horn and countless other African species into their maw. By charting the scale of these markets and tracking fluctuations with rigour and consistency‚ he provided a solid foundation for action to close them down.

"On Friday he was in our office‚ excited to see the Laotian translation of his latest report into Laos' growing trade‚ and eager to discuss how it could be used to greatest effect.

"Conservation has lost an important figure‚ elephants have lost a great champion and the shock of Esmond’s death will be felt around the world. Our deepest condolences to his wife Chrysee‚ his partners in research‚ and to his extended family."

Julian Rademeyer‚ author of the book Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade‚ said Martin was a legend in conservation circles. He shared his sadness at the news on social media: "Esmond spent much of his life fearlessly and doggedly investigating the illegal ivory and rhino horn trades. A gentle giant with a distinctive shock of white hair‚ he travelled the world seeking out traders and dealers and gathering invaluable data on hidden markets. He was an inspiration and someone always willing to share information‚ advice and encouragement. Hard to believe it ended so senselessly. I'll miss him greatly. RIP."

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