Five rangers killed in DRC wildlife park
Publish date: 10 April 2018
Issue Number: 551
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Five rangers and a driver were killed in an ambush in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this week. A report in The Guardian notes that a sixth ranger was injured in the attack that took place in the central section of the vast reserve, known globally for its population of rare mountain gorillas. The loss of life was the worst in the history of the national park, where more than 170 rangers have died protecting animals over the last 20 years. The rising toll has earned the park a reputation as one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world. Last August, five rangers were killed when local militia attacked their post in the northern part of the park on the shores of Lake Edward. Multiple threats face Virunga, home to one of the world’s largest populations of as well as hundreds of other rare species. There are armed rebel groups, local bandits and self-defence militia, and poachers. There is also a hugely lucrative charcoal industry, for which the trees of the park are the principal raw material.