Saturday, 21 June 2014

Endangered Gorillas Protected from Oil Drilling in African Park

By Elizabeth Howell, Live Science Contributor | June 19, 2014 07:46am ET

A major oil and gas company has pledged to stop plumbing for oil in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and United States authorities pressured the firm to halt operations in the region.

Soco International Inc., an oil and gas production company headquartered in London, has agreed to cease development work in the area within 30 days, according to company representatives.

The African park — the oldest national park on the continent — is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is home to a diverse array of animals, including hippopotamuses, "critically endangered" mountain gorillas and several species of birds that flock to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to escape the harsh winter season in Siberia, according to the WWF. The 3,000-square-mile (7,800 kilometers) park was originally created in 1925 as a sanctuary to protect the region's gorillas. 

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