Last Week in Virunga: Warden’s Log, 17-23 October

Gorillas:

  • The gorilla doctors from MGVP came by on Thursday to perform a full exam of baby gorilla Shamavu. This required partially anesthetizing him, which he handled pretty well. He only let out a small peep when they gave him a shot, far better than most human babies would react. More photos on that in tomorrow’s blog post.

Tourism

  • Mikeno Lodge accepted its first 20 guests this past weekend, even though it was not fully completed.  Everyone who could move and breathe last week and over the weekend worked to pull everything together for the welcome and it appears to have been a success. The experience gave the management a good idea of what works and doesn’t work in the handling of guests and their needs.  The staff is exhausted but feeling good about the results.

Security

  • We got word of a possible Mai Mai attack on the Muramba position on Lake Edward again – the same location as a previous attack. We deployed two sections of rangers to reinforce the position. So far the rumoured attack hasn’t happened.
  • An FDLR commander, his wife, and guard who have been operating inside the park turned themselves in to authorities in the military. They will now go through the process of disarmament and returning to Rwanda.

Rangers

  • The officer training that began seven months ago officially came to an end over the weekend. In total, 67 officers completed the course in command and leadership.

Officer training in Mutsora.

Misc.

  • On the web-news front, we have set up a new page here called “Projects” that will list programs in need of funding. Each will have its own website or web-page and we would like to encourage you to take a look and join a team of people to support a project. It is vital to our survival that we have individuals like you to help. Check out this projects page on our website. Click on a project and read more.
  • We topped 100,000 visits to our website this month. This is big for us, but what we would really like is to hear from you, our readers, on how we can improve and make better use of the website.

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