May 21, 2018

World’s top poaching investigator Esmond Martin killed in Nairobi

Renowned global investigator on ivory and rhino trade Esmond Martin is dead. [courtesy]

World’s revered poaching lead investigator Esmond Bradley Martin who has been living in Kenya is dead.

His lifeless body was found at his Karen home in Nairobi yesterday.

The 75-year old is reportedly said to have been alone in his house. His body had stab wounds on the neck.

His wife Chryssee Martin returned to the house at around 4pm from a nature walk and found her husband dead. She quickly alerted the police who dashed to the scene.

Nairobi DCI boss Ireri Kamwende said they have questioned employees at the house including the cook and the gardener. No arrest has been made yet.

“We have already questioned a gardener and a cook who are employed at the home,” said the Nairobi DCI boss.

Esmond was once a United Nations special envoy for rhino conservation.

According to the Star, he was working on a report on the rhino and ivory trade.

Martin together with his wife and American Geographer Lucy Vigne and Dan Stiles have been travelling around the world on a mission to identify ivory and rhino markets, the traffickers and the modern-day uses.

His latest achievement is punctuated by reduction of rhino horn trade in China and ivory trade as well in the same country.

In his 88-page report co-authored by Vigne titled Decline in the Legal Ivory Trade in China in Anticipation of a Ban, he highlighted that his persuasion to China to shut down the sale of rhino horns and ivory bore fruits.

“With the end of the legal ivory trade in China, the survival chances for elephants have distinctly improved. We must give credit to China for doing the right thing by closing the ivory trade,” Esmond told the Star last year.

He is also credited with the reduction of 130 licensed outlets in China dealing in rhino and ivory trade.

 Dr Paula Kahumbu, the CEO of Kenyan Conservation NGO Wildlife Direct in a tweet said: “Esmond was at the forefront of exposing the scale of ivory markets in USA, Congo, Nigeria, Angola, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and recently Myanmar. He always collaborated with Save the Elephants and worked with many of us generously sharing his findings & views.”

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