A leading conservationist and ivory investigator was shot and killed in Masaki on Wednesday, August 16.
Wayne Lotter, 51, was being driven from the airport to Masaki when his taxi was stopped by two men in another vehicle, according to the Guardian.
One of the men then opened the car door and shot Lotter, who co-founded the PAMS Foundation in Tanzania in 2009.
The PAMS Foundation supports over 200 game scouts as well as the anti-poaching unit responsible for arresting thousands of poachers.
According to the Guardian, Lotter had faced numerous death threats and believed he had helped reduce poaching in Tanzania by as much as 50 percent.
“Through his work with PAMS he helped train thousands of village game scouts in every corner of the country. His ground-breaking work in developing an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching helped successfully reverse the rampant rates of poaching facing Tanzania. He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about,” says a Facebook post by the PAMS Foundation.
“Wayne was a fearless and vocal advocate for wildlife and wild places,” says a tribute by WildAid.
Lotter’s anti-poaching efforts made a ‘big difference’ in saving Tanzania’s elephants from the ivory trade, says Jane Goodall.
“His courage in the face of stiff opposition and personal threats, and his determination to keep on fighting, has inspired many, and encouraged them also to keep fighting for wildlife. If this cowardly shooting was an attempt to bring the work of the PAMS Foundation to an end it will fail,” says Goodall.
Police are investigating the death.
BREAKING: Wayne Lotter + unit helped save ‘more than 30k #Tanzania elephants + arrest 2000 traffickers’. Killed by gunmen on way home pic.twitter.com/Wz8NDO0Ip0
— Dan Ashby (@danielashby) August 17, 2017