Top ivory poaching investigator murdered in Kenya
2018-02-07 09:35:00

Esmond Bradley Martin, a globally renowned ivory-trade investigator whose work catalyzed efforts to combat African elephant and rhino poaching has been killed in Nairobi.

Martin was found dead at his home with a deep stab wound around his neck.

His last report co-authored with Lucy Vigne, Decline in the Legal Ivory Trade in China in Anticipation of a Ban, was published by conservation group Save the Elephants in 2017.

The report revealed how China’s announcement of a ban on ivory trading in 2016 led to massive decline in prices of ivory pieces.

In a 2015 report written on behalf of Save the Elephants, Martin and Vigne's revelations about the ivory market in Hong Kong set the stage for a global effort to persuade the Chinese region to ban domestic trade in ivory, according to WildAid. Hong Kong voted for the ivory trade ban on January 31.

Martin was also instrumental in closing down the market for rhino horn daggers in Yemen, once a major destination for illegal shipments of rhino horn.

In recent months, Martin’s team had been investigating rampant rhino horn and ivory trade in international markets. His sudden death has sent shock waves among wildlife conservation groups and activists.

“Everyone who has been involved in the global fight against ivory and rhino horn trafficking over the last four decades has been helped by Esmond's thorough and detailed research on the markets for these products, particularly in the East and Southeast Asia,” said WildAid in a statement.

Wildlife trade monitor TRAFFIC revealed that Martin had recently returned from Myanmar and was in the process of writing up his findings on wildlife trafficking when he was killed at his home during what police have suggested may have been a botched robbery.

“Esmond was the individual who invented modern market monitoring for ivory and rhino horn, and he blazed an unparalleled trail around the world, endlessly documenting the scale and scope of the ugly trades that continue to push the world's iconic pachyderms to the brink,” said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s elephant and rhino program leader.

In 1982, Martin also published the bestselling book “Run Rhino Run” with his wife, Chryssee.

Top Image:Esmond Bradley Martin during a field trip to investigate ivory trade. /Save the Elephant Photo

Source:CGTN Editor:Hiram