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Rumangabo’s plea to poachers
27 March 2009

Local people from the Rumangabo area in DR Congo, who reside around the Virunga National Park, have set 1200 snares and traps on fire in a desperate plea asking poachers to halt their destructive practices. Mountain Gorillas are not the intended targets of the snares, but are frequently maimed or killed by the devices, which are meant for other forest dwelling animals.

The traps were collected during a number of patrols of the park by ICCN guards and were burnt in the grounds of a local primary school in the province of North Kivu. Emmanuel De Merode, the park director, and Paul Ndez Mali Ni Kazi, chief of Bwisha in the Rutshuru territory, have called for the poaching to stop, asking hunters to consider the lives of the gorillas residing in the area and the importance of the conservation efforts. De Merode went on emphasize the importance of the gorillas in terms of potential tourism, and asked poachers to consider the massive benefits this could bring to local economies and communities once peace returns to the region. 

Local people from the Rumangabo area, along with Ndez Mali Ni Kazi, hope the gesture will bring much needed attention to the problem of trap and snare use and discourage poachers from undertaking illegal practices in the future. 
for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123