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Africa Hope Fund helps supports people who put their lives at risk to protect Africa’s wildlife, especially elephants whose numbers are still perilously low. Your contributions go directly to organizations like Conservation South Luangwa ( where Rachel McCobb and the scouts in her organization risk their lives when they investigate poaching activity in the Zambian bush. People who smuggle ivory for large amounts of money do not value human life any more than they do wildlife. While it is great news that China has banned all ivory trade, the black market demand for ivory still exists, and the ivory pipeline will take a long time to shut down.

Just last summer, leading wildlife conservationist, Wayne Lotter, a 51-year-old South African who pioneered new techniques to catch elephant poachers and ivory smugglers was shot and killed in Tanzania.

Today, February 5, 2018, this article appeared in

Esmond Bradley-Martin

Esmond Bradley-Martin

Esmond Bradley-Martin, one of the world's top ivory investigators, has been killed in Nairobi. The 75-year-old, who has been crucial to the fight against the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, was found in his home with a stab wound to the neck on Sunday.

The former UN special envoy for rhino conservation, who had recently returned from a research trip to Burma, was found dead by his wife in their house in Langata. He, his wife Chryssee Martin and colleagues were in the midst of discovering ivory and rhino markets, the traffickers and the modern-day uses…

Mr. Bradley-Martin had authored several ground-breaking reports on rhino and ivory smuggling in Kenya as well as the trade in China, Vietnam, and Laos…The geographer had recently published a study into the declining ivory trade in China.

"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," he told The Star last year.

Bradley-Martin had first come to Africa in the 1970s after a huge slaughter of elephants in the region.

He explained the purpose of his work to Nomad Magazine last year: "In Kenya, there were around 20,000 rhinos in 1970, but by the 1990s, most of the rhinos had been eliminated. The puzzle was: why were all these rhinos being killed, and where was the horn going?" 

Twitter has many messages about this. Here are a few:

Elephant expert and CEO of Wildlife Direct Dr. Paula Kahumbu tweeted: "It is with deep shock & horror that we learn this morning of the death of longtime conservationist, Esmond Bradley Martin, whom police say died in suspicious circumstances at his home in Karen, Nairobi. Esmond led investigations into ivory & rhino horn trafficking.

"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.

"Esmond was a global authority on ivory and rhino horn trafficking. We send our deepest condolences to his wife. RIP Esmond, pachyderms have lost a great champion."

Save the Rhino@savetherhino

Shocking & sad news: Esmond Bradley Martin, investigator into the illegal trade in elephant ivory & rhino horn, was found murdered in his home in Nairobi. Our thoughts are with his wife Chryssee.


Written by Patricia Cole

An Africa Hope Fund board member for 7 years, Pat is a writer and a conservation activist. After traveling to Zambia, she became dedicated to helping Africa Hope Fund provide education to the next generation of Africans and ensure their future by protecting wildlife. Find Patricia on Facebook and Twitter, or on her websites and

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John Gardiner