Virunga National Park: Mountain gorillas remain target for armed groups

Friday, 8 June 2007
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On Friday June 8, 2007, a female gorilla was shot in the southern sector of Virunga National Park, and her 3-month old baby was found sitting on her dead body. This female belonged to a group of 33 gorillas referred to as "habituated", meaning they are used to contact with humans.

The death of this female gorilla occurred less than six months after that of two males killed in the same sector. In addition to frightening the local population (this terrible act occurred a few kilometers north of the city of Goma), and the seriousness of the attack on one of the flagship species of this World Heritage property, is added a serious loss of income for the still fragile tourist sector.

In the face of this ongoing situation which affects both people and wildlife, and makes the work of the guards increasingly dangerous, UNESCO reiterated its appeal to Congolese authorities and the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Now, more than ever, it is a question of disarming the armed groups in Virunga National Park and the surrounding area. 

For further information about this issue and the activities of the ICCN (the Congolese body in charge of protected areas management) and its partners in the field, please consult the following links: