Wayne Lotter (pictured), who helped set up the PAMS Foundation, was shot dead in Tanzania last week
The Duke of Cambridge has condemned the killing of a wildlife conservationist as a ‘senseless loss’.
Wayne Lotter was shot in the Masaki district of the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam on August 16.
He helped set up the PAMS Foundation in 2009, which backs conservation work in Tanzania and is credited with helping to arrest thousands of poachers and traffickers.
But his high-profile role in protecting endangered wildlife in Tanzania led to numerous death threats against himself and his family.
In a statement William, who has campaigned globally to end the illegal wildlife trade, said: ‘Wayne Lotter’s violent and apparently targeted murder shows just how dangerous the situation has become in relation to the big money that is associated with the illegal ivory and rhino horn trades.
‘Rangers and conservationists put themselves in harm’s way every day to stop organised criminals destroying Africa’s natural resources.
‘Governments and NGOs must win this fight for the sake of all of us, especially those in communities whose livelihoods are being plundered by murderous criminals.
Prince William paid tribute to Lotter and people like him who ‘put themselves in harm’s way every day to stop organised criminals destroying Africa’s natural resources’
PAMS Foundation said Mr Lotter helped to train thousands of game scouts throughout Tanzania and developed an ‘intelligence-based approach’ to anti-poaching. Pictured: William helps rangers apply a tracking collar to a wild elephant
‘My deepest condolences to Wayne’s family and all those at PAMS Foundation for this senseless loss.’
The foundation said Tanzanian police are investigating.
The foundation said Mr Lotter helped to train thousands of game scouts throughout Tanzania and developed an ‘intelligence-based approach’ to anti-poaching that has had success in countering wildlife trafficking there.
He is survived by his widow and two daughters.
A vehicle drives past the crime scene marking the spot where Lotter, 51, was shot and killed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Poachers have killed tens of thousands of elephants in Tanzania in the past decade.
Mr Lotter had 23 years of professional experience in wildlife management, conservation and environmental management.
On Wednesday last week he landed at the airport of the capital Dar es Salaam and was being driven to his hotel when his car was forced off the road and into a ditch.
Two gunmen got out and shot him repeatedly in the head and body then stole his laptop which is believed to contain sensitive information about poachers.
Police say the fact that luggage and his wallet was left behind suggests that robbery was not a motive and that a price could have been put on his head.
William said: ‘Governments and NGOs must win this fight for the sake of all of us, especially those in communities whose livelihoods are being plundered by murderous criminals.’ Pictured: Wayne Lotter
He was remembered by friend and fellow leading conservationist Dr Jane Goodall as a ‘hero’ for the way he devoted his life to protecting Africa’s wildlife in the face of stiff opposition and personal threats.
She said his anti-poaching efforts made a big difference in the fight to save Tanzania’s elephants from the illegal ivory trade, adding: ‘If this cowardly shooting was an attempt to bring the work of the PAMS Foundation to an end it will fail.
‘Those who have been inspired by Wayne will fight on. But he will be sadly missed by so many.’
A memorial service is to be held in his home town of Nelspruit, South Africa on Saturday.