On Friday, April 24th, according to WAN’s source, at least 12 rangers were killed, along with one driver, and four civilians by militia that ambushed a convoy of civilians that were being protected by rangers in Virunga National Park.
Virunga National Park, home to the iconic endangered mountain gorilla, as well as elephants and hippos, faces an increasingly uncertain future as its protectors deal with the impacts of Ebola, COVID-19, and this recent attack.
The Virunga Fund has been launched to support partners in Virunga National Park at this critical time. With the help of Leonardo DiCaprio and Emerson Collective – co-founders of Earth Alliance – along with support from the European Commission, the fund was launched with $2 million in seed funding.
Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse protected area, home to the famed mountain gorilla and more species of birds, reptiles, and mammals than any other protected area in Africa.
The park, already grappling with the impact of Ebloa and COVID-19 epidemics having closed to tourism in March, has been pushed to the brink by these recent attacks, placing the protection of its wildlife and the needs of local communities in jeopardy.
According to a statement, Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park told UK Channel 4 News that, “we are on a timer and we only have about two months before all our critical functions for protecting the park can no longer be sustained.”
The Virunga Fund will provide urgent support for our partners on the ground to deliver critical disease prevention efforts, law enforcement, and the protection of the iconic and critically endangered mountain gorilla, in addition to supporting the families of rangers who have fallen in the line of duty.
100% of your donations will go towards Virunga’s rangers and the necessary operational costs to ensure they are well supported. Here are some examples of where even small dollar donations can make a big difference:
$8 – A pair of new boots for a ranger
$32 – Funds a ranger for one day (includes family health insurance)
$50 – One month of support for the widow and children of a fallen ranger
$150 – Two weeks of food and supplements for an orphaned gorilla
$500 – One anti-poaching aerial surveillance flight to protect elephants and hippos or elephant and hippo protection
$1,000 – Comprehensive sweep and removal of deadly snares in the mountain gorilla sector
Please support Virunga National Park by donating to The Virunga Fund today, HERE!
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