By Azania Post Reporter
A former UN special representative for rhino, Esmond Martin has been killed in Kenya , this is the second incidence after another conservationist ,Wayne Lotter who was murdered in Dar over three months ago.
BBC reported that Martin, one of the world’s leading investigators into the illegal trade in ivory was found with a stab wound to his neck at home in the capital Nairobi yesterday.
The former UN special envoy for rhino conservation was known for his undercover work establishing black-market prices.
The US citizen had recently returned from a research trip to Myanmar.
Martin was in the process of writing up his findings when he died, reports the BBC's Alastair Leithead from Nairobi.
Eye witness said his wife found him in their house in Langata. Police are investigating the circumstances but suspect it was a botched robbery.
Martin had spent decades risking his life to secretly photograph and document the illegal sales of ivory and rhino horn, travelling to China, Vietnam, and Laos to pose as a buyer - helping to find out the level of black market prices.
History dates back in 1970’ when he first went to Kenya from the US when there was a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory.
His work on illegal wildlife markets helped pressure China to ban the rhino horn trade in the 1990s, and domestic sales of ivory, which came into force this year.
Always sharply dressed with a colourful handkerchief falling from his top pocket, the investigator would immediately cut to the chase, honing in on the latest issue that was consuming him.
He was a well-known and highly respected character in the conservation community - passionate and unwavering in his efforts to crack down on illegal wildlife crime.
In a major report last year from Laos, he and his colleague Lucy Vigne established that the country had the world's fastest growing ivory trade.
They risked their own safety staying at a Chinese casino inhabited by gangsters and traffickers in order to visit the illegal markets and find out the latest prices by posing as dealers.
Lotter was a big figure in the international conservation community, having served on the boards of several conservation groups and was the Vice President of the International Ranger Federation.
The news of his death has sent the community into mourning. “Wayne was one of Africa’s leading and most committed conservationists.
He had over two decades worth of experience in wildlife management and conservation, and can be credited as the driving force behind ending the unscrupulous slaughter of Tanzania’s elephants,” said Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).