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Brent Stirton’s Gorilla Killings

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Bukima, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, July 2007.

Conservation Rangers from an Anti-Poaching unit work with locals to evacuate the bodies of four Mountain Gorillas killed in mysterious circumstances in the park, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, 24 July 2007.

A Silver-Back Alpha male, the leader of the group was shot, three females were also killed. Two of the females had babies and the other was pregnant. The two babies were not found and it is thought that they will have died of stress and dehydration. The motivation for the killing is not known but it is suspected that there are political motivations. The local illegal Charcoal industry clashes with conservation efforts in this very poor area and embattled Rangers have been threatened, tortured and killed as a result of this clash of political and economic wills.

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