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Rangers mark anniversary of gorilla massacre
21 July 2011

Rangers working on the frontline of gorilla conservation in DR Congo are marking the anniversary of what was the worst attack against mountain gorillas seen in three decades.

 

On 22 July 2007 four gorillas belonging to the Rugendo group were slaughtered by gunmen in the southern sector of the Virunga National Park. Alongside the group's dominant male, silverback Senkwekwe, the bodies of the adult females Neza, Safari and Mburanumwe – who was pregnant at the time of her death – were found lying just yards from the Bukima patrol post. Three weeks later, rangers found the remains of adult female Macibiri. Her infant, Ntabiri's, was missing, presumed dead. 

 

In the days after the attack, Tuver Wundi, the Gorilla Organization's communications manager in DR Congo reported: "The local communities near Bukima are devastated by the recent killings. They have worked hard during the last ten years to protect the gorillas and their habitat and welcome the ecological and economic benefits that gorilla conservation has brought to their communities."

 

While the perpetrators have yet to be caught, the continued hard work of local communities, alongside the efforts of international groups including the Gorilla Organization, is paying dividends.

 

Back in May, gorilla conservationists celebrated the arrival of a new addition to the Rugendo group. The baby, who was born to a female named Lubutu, represents a symbol of hope for all of the critically endangered mountain gorillas living in this troubled part of DR Congo and proof that conservation efforts are working, even in the midst of such insecurity.

 

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
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org