With the work of rangers as dangerous - and as vital - as ever, the Gorilla Organization has launched an appeal for funds to help give the gorilla guardians the equipment and support they need to carry out their important work.
In December of last year, a ranger was shot dead while on patrol in the forests of the Virunga National Park. The camp of his anti-poaching patrol was also badly damaged and valuable equipment was stolen. This latest tragedy came just two months after another park ranger was killed in the line of duty, highlighting just how dangerous this job is.
Everyday rebels and soldiers move through the forests where gorillas live, increasing the likelihood that these magnificent creatures will become victims in the violence that has marred parts of East and Central Africa for years. There are also racketeers plundering the natural resources of the region, using the chaos created by violence as a cover for their illegal activities.
If it weren't for the rangers patrolling the park, conservationists would have no information about the gorillas and no means of knowing how to provide them with care.
There work is no walk in the park. They trek through relentless rain that churns the soil into a muddy, sodden quicksand. Because the gorillas roam through a vast territory searching for food, the rangers must travel high into the mountains, where the temperatures can change suddenly. The rangers need supplies, clothing and tools to safeguard the gorillas, no matter where they are. This is where your gift can make a real difference.
- £20 could provide a ranger with waterproof clothing and hard-wearing boots
- £50 could help provide rangers with a tent providing vital shelter
- £100 could help equip a team of rangers with the field rations they need for a forest patrol
- £500 could help secure a ranger station in the national park