Tuesday, February 06, 2018

World Leading Ivory Investigator Stabbed To Death In Kenya

Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, world-renowned U.S. conservationist and investigator into the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade has been killed in Kenya. 

He was found in his Nairobi home on Sunday with a stab wound to his neck.

The former UN special envoy for rhino conservation was known for his undercover work investigating the black market.

The US citizen had recently returned from a research trip to Myanmar. Bradley Martin was in the process of writing up his findings when he died, reports the BBC's Alastair Leithead from Nairobi.

His wife found him in their house in Langata. Police are investigating the circumstances but suspect it was a botched robbery.

Bradley Martin had spent decades risking his life to secretly photograph and document illegal sales of ivory and rhino horn, travelling to China, Vietnam, and Laos to pose as a buyer and establish the details of black market prices.

He first went to Kenya from the US in the 1970s when there was a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory.

Top conservationists around the world have been paying tribute to the researcher. 

"Very few knew much about these issues better than Esmond," UN Environment Deputy Director Maxwell Gomera said in a statement.

"Even fewer have pursued these issues with such dedication and commitment. The fight to save wildlife has lost one of its most committed soldiers," he added.

"It is with deep shock and horror that we learn this morning of the death of long-time conservationist, Esmond Bradley Martin," CEO of Wildlife Direct Dr. Paula Kahumbu wrote on Twitter.

"Esmond was at the forefront of exposing the scale of ivory markets in U.S.A., Congo, Nigeria, Angola, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and recently, Myanmar," she said. 

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