Friday, 7 December 2012

Fossey Fund anti-poaching camp attacked - Ranger killed

Ranger was killed while on anti-poaching patrol
December 2012. A ranger employed by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has been killed during an attack on one of its anti-poaching camps in Rwanda, near Volcanoes National Park. A member of the anti-poaching team - Esdras Nsengiyumva - was killed by gunfire. The other rangers escaped and one suffered injuries due to a fall while getting away. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is deeply saddened by this death.
Various equipment, such as food, radios and camping gear, were stolen, and larger items were damaged or destroyed, such as solar panels and a water tank.

Second camp not attacked
Clare Richardson, president and CEO of the Fossey Fund, and Felix Ndagijimana, director of the Fossey Fund's Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, report that the Fund's second anti-poaching camp in Rwanda was not harmed and that all other staff are safe and unharmed. Rwandan officials and military are on hand to assess the situation at the camp and elsewhere.
Although gorilla monitoring by Fossey Fund staff was halted, it is planned for the trackers to return to their daily monitoring soon.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has worked in Rwanda for decades, carrying on the work started by its founder, Dr. Dian Fossey, more than 45 years ago, who was herself killed while protecting gorillas. Since then we have lost many other brave colleagues as well and faced many hard times. Today we grieve to add the name of our anti-poacher Esdras Nsengiyumva to this list. The Fossey Fund will be providing assistance to his family and is determined to rebuild the anti-poaching camp, so that this important work can continue on. Visit gorilla fund for updates.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Founded by Dr. Dian Fossey as the Digit Fund and renamed after her death, the Fossey Fund operates the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, and maintains a staff of scientists, trackers and anti-poaching patrols in Volcanoes National Park. The Fossey Fund also monitors Grauer's gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and operates extensive education, health and other community outreach programs.

The attack yesterday morning on the Kazi Camp, operated by the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which killed one staff and saw others injured, was swiftly denounced by several sources close to the powers that be in Rwanda. Fingers were also immediately pointed to perpetrators suspected to have come across the open wilderness border from Congo Dr as the most likely scenario, as the attackers mainly concentrated to loot communications equipment which with the set frequencies will let them listen into Rwandan park personnel talking among themselves and to security units deployed along the porous border. The camp itself, after being looted of everything mobile, was then destroyed, which included expensive solar panels and other equipment on the ground, leaving only a shell of what used to be one of two key camps for monitoring and research in the Volcanoes National Park.

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