In 2009 I had the priveledge to walk through Virunga NP tracking Gorillas and spent and incredible day with the Rangers and few hours with our magnificent cousins. It is absolutely tragic to hear about another vicious attack on the hero rangers who put their lives on the line to protect the Virunga wilderness, and in particular the precious Mountain Gorillas it is home to. Our thoughts go out to the rangers, victims, and their families.
“Established in 1925, Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is best-known for hosting the critically endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). But it has also been beset by the long-running conflict in the eastern DRC, with armed rebels, militias and poachers encroaching deep into the park. The latest ambush was the deadliest yet in a long list of attacks that have claimed the lives of 175 park rangers to date, the authorities said.” (mongabay.org)
“We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our colleagues yesterday. Virunga has lost some extraordinarily brave rangers who were deeply committed to working in service of their communities. It is unacceptable that Virunga’s rangers continue to pay the highest price in defence of our common heritage and we are devastated that their lives have been cut short in this way. We send our deepest condolences to the families, wives and children they leave behind and remain committed to creating a better future for eastern Congo – Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode” (virunga.org)
Angele Nzalamingi is running the London Marathon in honour of her fallen friends and to raise money and awareness for the challenges the rangers and Virunga wilderness faces. Learn more about Angele’s run here and donate to Angele’s run here.
To learn more about the challenges facing this incredibly important wilderness, watch Leonardo de Caprio’s Virunga, the Oscar-nominated true story of the rangers risking their lives to save Africa’s most precious national park and its endangered gorillas.