Yesterday, May 24, Virunga National Park sent a team of rangers back to Bukima in an attempt to reestablish the monitoring of habituated mountain gorillas that range in that area. The hope was to locate the gorillas after several weeks without contact. That last few weeks have been volatile, with rebel movements within the National Park and intense fighting raging between rebel militias and the Congolese army on the park's edge in Bikenge and Jomba.
Throughout the week, IGCP has kept in touch with our partners throughout Mikeno sector including Virunga National Park staff, partner NGOs, and community organizations we work with.
We are sorry to report that the forests of Virunga National Park in Eastern DRC have become ground zero for the hunt for renegade general Bosco Ntaganda and troops loyal to him.
By Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid
Experts in rhino conservation met last week in Nairobi convened by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in response to a rhino poaching epidemic gripping South Africa and Zimbabwe, which reached a record high in 2011—poaching in South Africa alone leapt up 33% in just a year, with an estimated 448 rhinos killed for their horns compared to 13 killed in 2007.
If you are ever curious as to why conservation organizations like IGCP are working to collaborate with the Batwa people of the region, all you have to do is watch one of their members set a snare for wildlife with not only expert precision, but with extreme satisfaction.