Over 100 Congolese Conservation Rangers killed


© Brent Stirton/Getty Images for Newsweek por ILCP.
Bukima, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, July, 2007.

Conservation Rangers from an Anti-Poaching unit work with locals to evacuate the bodies of four Mountain Gorrillas killed in by members of a charcoal business illegally operating in the park, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, 24 July 2007. A Silver-Back Alpha male, the leader of the group was shot, three females were also killed. Two of the females had babies and the other was pregnant. The two babies were later found dead as a result of stress and dehydration. The local illegal Charcoal industry clashes with conservation efforts in this very poor area and Rangers have been threatened, tortured and killed as a result of this clash of political and economic wills. Over 100 Rangers have been killed in their efforts to protect the Gorrillas of Virunga, one of the world’s most endangered species. The Congolese Rangers in this particular group are working with Wildlife Direct, a Conservation organisation. The Rangers receive a salary based on donations to Wildlife Direct and perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world of wildlife conservation. The DRC has the highest toll of human casualties of any country since the second world war, a figure in the region of 4.6 million dead as a result of war and resultant displacement, disease, starvation and ongoing militia violence. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images for Newsweek.)

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