Wildlife crime does not pay: According to several news sources, yesterday saw the conviction and sentencing of eleven criminals who have been on trial for the 2017 murder of conservationist and PAMS Foundation co-founder, Wayne Lotter. All eleven were found guilty and sentenced to death in a Tanzanian court for gunning down the vehicle he was travelling in in August 2017.
As the International Ranger Federation (IRF) reports, Wayne was passionate about rangers and served on the IRF executive committee in the position of Vice President. “Many of us will remember Wayne, from the PAMS Foundation, for the hosting of the 2012 International Ranger Federation World Ranger Congress in Arusha, Tanzania”, the IRF writes.
“Poaching and wildlife crime is devastating to all of us”
“Wayne, more than anyone, knew the threats that rangers face on a daily basis but he never shied away from the difficult tasks at hand.”
PAMS co-founder and Director Krissie Clark said that she and her colleagues are relieved that the trial is over. “We are ready to close this sad chapter and focus on empowering the people of Tanzania to protect and live in harmony with nature. Wayne’s murder and the sentencing of the accused should serve as a reminder to everyone that poaching and wildlife crime is devastating to all of us. It destroys Tanzania’s extraordinary natural heritage and damages families and communities. Wildlife crime doesn’t pay.”
Passion for wildlife and legendary sense of humor
The IRF commends the Tanzanian authorities and all those that have persevered and fought so hard to see justice being served, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for all involved, being handed down.
May his family take comfort from the closure and that his conservation legacy will live on through the PAMS Foundation.
As Krissie Clark said: “Wayne had a remarkable ability to inspire people with his passion for wildlife and his legendary sense of humor. His spirit lives on in the work we do every day.”
Photo caption: Wayne (back row, second from the left), with members of the IRF Executive Committee attending the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, 2014. ©Chris Galliers