Feb. 5 (UPI) — One of the United States’ leading conservationists and ivory trade investigators was found dead Monday in his home in Nairobi, Kenya.
Police found the body of Esmond Bradley Martin in his house with a stab wounds to neck. His wife found him dead after she returned from a walk.
“We have launched investigations into the murder of the American conservationist who was found dead in his house in Karen,” Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome told Capital FM news.
Nairobi’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss, Ireri Kamwende, said the attacker hasn’t been identified.
“We have already questioned a gardener and a cook who are employed at the home,” Kamwende said.
Martin wrote several groundbreaking reports about the ivory trade and was believed to be working on a new expose about trafficking in ivory and rhino horns.
At one point, Martin served as the United Nations special envoy for rhino conservation. The conservationist persuaded China to end its legal rhino horn trade in 1993 and ivory trade just last year.
The World Wildlife Fund in Kenya said on Twitter they were “saddened” by Martin’s death.
“We’re saddened by the untimely death of Esmond Bradley Martin, a respected colleague & friend to conservationists worldwide,” the WWF said in a tweet. “He was at the forefront of fighting #WildlifeCrime in exposing rhino horn & elephant ivory trade. He remains an inspiration for all of us.”
Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the CEO of Wildlife Direct, said Martin would be remembered for exposing ivory sales worldwide — including in the United States, Congo, Nigeria, China and Hong Kong.
“It is with deep shock and horror that we learn this Monday morning of the death of long-time conservationist, Esmond Bradley Martin, whom police say died in suspicious circumstances at his home in Karen, Nairobi. Esmond led investigations into ivory and rhino horn trafficking,” Kahumbu said