Tusk is deeply shocked and saddened by the terrible news last week that Wayne Lotter, the founder and director of the wildlife conservation NGO, PAMS Foundation, had been brutally shot and killed in Tanzania. Initial suspicions are that his ongoing work to combat the illegal wildlife trade, which had prompted numerous threats against him, may well have led to his tragic death at the hands of criminals who wanted him out of the way.
Lotter was known for his tireless and courageous work against poaching gangs and the corruption that protects the middlemen and kingpins who mercilessly exploit the illegal trade in endangered species. With his partner, Krissie Clark, he had been totally committed to his conservation work since establishing PAMS in 2009.
Tusk’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who has campaigned globally to end of the illegal wildlife trade said today, “Wayne Lotter’s violent and apparently targeted murder shows just how dangerous the situation has become in relation to the big money that is associated with the illegal ivory and rhino horn trades. Rangers and conservationists put themselves in harm’s way every day to stop organised criminals destroying Africa’s natural resources. Governments and NGOs must win this fight for the sake ofall of us, especially those in communities whose livelihoods are being plundered by murderous criminals. My deepest condolences to Wayne’s family and all those at PAMS Foundation for this senseless loss.”
As a young man Wayne Lotter served as a ranger in his native South Africa before moving to East Africa to combat poaching in Tanzania. He was passionate about the benefits of involving local communities in conserving their natural heritage and protecting wildlife. Through his work with PAMS he was responsible for training hundreds of village game scouts across Tanzania. Despite strong opposition from many corrupt officials, Wayne developed an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching, which helped reduce the appalling level of elephant poaching seen in recent years in Tanzania.
Police in Tanzania have launched an investigation into his death.
The Trustees and staff of Tusk wish to express their heartfelt sympathy to Krissie, Wayne’s children and family for the terrible loss they have suffered.