Six rangers killed in Virunga Park, home to mountain gorillas, in Congo

Veterinary and Virunga Park rangers remove a poachers' snare from the hand of Theodore, Virunga National Park, Congo, photo: Reuters
Veterinary and Virunga Park rangers remove a poachers' snare from the hand of Theodore, Virunga National Park, Congo, photo: Reuters

Armed men on Sunday killed at least six rangers and wounded several others in Virunga National Park, a sanctuary for endangered mountain gorillas, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We confirm this sad news. A group of armed men attacked our positions in the region of Nyamitwitwi in the middle of Virunga National Park,” Olivier Mukisya, a Virunga spokesman, told Reuters. More than 200 rangers have been killed in the past.

Baby gorilla Theodore rescued from snare in Congo’s Virunga park

The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear, Mukisya said. Previous attacks against the rangers have been blamed on various militias who fight to control land and natural resources in eastern Congo.

Virunga sits on the forest-covered volcanoes of central Africa and is home to over half the global population of mountain gorillas.

It is Africa’s oldest national park and largest tropical rainforest reserve, covering 7,800 sq km (3,000 sq miles).

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