Tributes have been made for Esmond Bradley Martin, one of the world’s leading investigators of the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, who has been killed in Kenya.
The 75-year-old American born conservationist was found in his Langata home by his wife on Sunday with a stab wound to his neck.
Known for his undercover work investigating the black market, the former UN special envoy for rhino conservation had recently returned from a research trip to Myanmar and was in the process of writing up his findings from his trip when he was killed.
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death, but they suspect it was a botched robbery.
Posting to Twitter, Save the Elephants Kenya said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of wildlife-trade researcher Esmond Bradley Martin who died yesterday in Nairobi. A long term ally for STE, passionate champion of wildlife and meticulous researcher, his loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him.”
Save the Rhino added: “Shocking & sad news: Esmond Bradley Martin, investigator into the illegal trade in elephant ivory & rhino horn, found murdered in his home in Nairobi. Our thoughts are with his wife Chryssee.”
Bradley Martin, who first visited Kenya in the 1970’s following a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory, had spent decades risking his life to secretly photograph and document illegal sales of ivory and rhino horn. His investigations took him to China, Vietnam, and Laos where he would 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.