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Wayne Lotter obituary

Conservationist who took on the ivory poachers to guard the African elephant

When he was supplied a number one function within the documentary The Ivory Recreation (2016) by its producer, Leonardo DiCaprio, the conservationist Wayne Lotter modestly gave the credit score as a substitute to his wildlife rangers, who led the way in which in monitoring down considered one of Africa’s most infamous poachers, regarded as answerable for 10,000 elephants’ deaths. Lotter most well-liked to be within the background, whereas the highlight fell on the trigger for which he fought: saving the dwindling populations of Africa’s wild elephants, by sensible, dogged, on-the-ground monitoring of poachers and safety of their prey.

Lotter has been shot lifeless in Dar es Salaam, aged 51. Though the id of his killers shouldn’t be identified, the homicide might have been linked to one of many felony teams concerned in wildlife killing and ivory trafficking in Tanzania. These teams have turned what was once small-scale ivory poaching right into a extremely organised worldwide felony enterprise that exists primarily to service Chinese language demand for ivory and different uncommon animal merchandise. “The extra you go after them, the extra conditions the place there may be confrontation between poachers and rangers will happen,” Lotter mentioned final 12 months. “There are going to be dangers.”

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