Justice for Park Ranger Murdered While Protecting Critically Endangered Gorillas

gorilla-victoria-kaderbhai

Target: Joseph Kabila, President, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Goal: Investigate the deaths of two conservation officers tasked with protecting endangered Grauer’s gorillas.

A conservation officer was recently shot dead while trying to protect threatened Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kahuzi Biega national park. Munganga Nzonga Jacques, a 26-year-old ranger, was killed by suspected militants in the Tshivanga area of the park, which was previously suspected to be relatively safe. Even more shockingly, this is not the first conservation officer to be killed by poachers after the gorillas — another was killed only six months previously in the same national park.

Grauer’s gorillas are the largest species of ape on the planet, and also one of the most endangered. Threatened by illegal hunting, civil unrest, and habitat destruction, populations have declined by a whopping 77 percent in only 20 years. The gorillas are now listed as critically endangered, and are facing imminent extinction within the next five years without protection. Fewer than 4,000 are estimated to remain, all mostly confined to the Eastern forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In order to protect these gorillas, it is imperative that they receive the hands-on protection of conservation officers. If these conservation officers are unsafe, they will be unable to properly protect this critically endangered species. Not only must security be upgraded in the Kahuzi Biega national park, but an investigation must be launched into these brutal killings. Sign the petition below to demand that those responsible for these killings are found and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Kabila,

A 26-year-old conservation officer was recently killed while protecting critically endangered Grauer’s gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park. This is not the first ranger to be killed — another was recently killed in the same national park. Without protection from threats like illegal hunting, civil unrest, and mining, the critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla could be extinct within five years.

This animal is the largest species of ape in the world, as well as one of the rarest. It is imperative that it, as well as those who protect it, are kept safe from harm. We therefore ask that you improve security in the Kahuzi Biega national park as well as work to ensure that those responsible for the killings of these consrvation officers are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Victoria Kaderbahl

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7 Comments

  1. Enforcement and backup must be in place, otherwise this will continue happening.
    Wildlife crime is now generating violence, corruption and organized crime everywhere, in different parts of the world. Wildlife smuggling is the FOURTH most lucrative area of global crime…

  2. The only way to stop this is to have extreme punishment ;

    THAT INCLUDES A 25 YEARS JAIL SENTENCE ON THE FIRST OFFENSE AND ADDITIONAL 25 FOR ADDITIONAL OFFENSES, FINES OF 150K PER OFFENSE AND DOUBLED FOR THE SECOND ETC, THEN BANNED FROM BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL TO ANY COUNTRY THAT HAVE THESE MAJESTIC ANIMALS.

    WE MUST DO THIS AND TAKE A STAND TO STOP THESE MURDERS OF THESE RANGERS AND THE ANIMALS THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO PROTECT. IF WE DON’T STOP THESE MONSTERS THESE ANIMALS WILL GO EXTINCT AND THEY ARE RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US.

  3. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    Sincere condolences to these brave men’s families. Be proud of them, they were murdered doing a job they were compassionate about. God rest their souls.
    Far more security needs to be set in place for these defenders of the gorillas and other wildlife.
    Radios, security body cameras, body protection vests, call-ins logged every hour or less, and perhaps working in pairs.
    These perpetrators need to be hunted down and imprisoned for life and never released.

  4. Anita Culling says:

    This man should have been protected. People who protect these magnificent animals are very special wonderful people. Everything possible should be done to help them.
    Laws should be there to severely punish these murderers should be locked up for a long time

  5. These fallen men are everyone’s heroes. But unfortunately, it is doubtful the world will see or hear about these murderers being brought to justice unless the government truly provides the grit of solid investigation to bring these monsters to justice. But until then, we can only hope that guilt embeds itself into their souls to the point where sleep is a luxury.

  6. Helen Eldridge says:

    It is beyond belief that someone is so depraved that they cannot recognise the right of this park ranger to live, to dedicate his life to the care of these magnificent animals, and to defend them against criminals. He was a valuable member of the community, doing a wonderful job, and supporting his family. I extend my sincere sympathies to his family. The twisted, greedy, cruel and uneducated individuals who are involved in this activity must be found and removed from society.
    The authorities have a vital responsibility to protect the gorillas, and to protect the park rangers. This murder must not be allowed to go unpunished, and must not be repeated.

  7. Alice Cheang says:

    What a shame. Why do good people have to be penalized or die saving animals? The punishment and death sentence should befall animal abusers instead. The government should view animal welfare law seriously in the 1st place.

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