In Memoriam: Deadliest Attack on Virunga Staff in Park’s Recent History Brings Total Ranger Deaths to 175

10th April 2018, North Kivu, Eastern DRC

Further to our previous communication on the attack on Virunga’s rangers yesterday, we can confirm they were ambushed within the Central Sector of Virunga. One ranger survived and was treated for his injuries. Five rangers were killed in the attack as well as one staff driver.

Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode said: “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our colleagues yesterday. Virunga has lost some extraordinarily brave rangers who were deeply committed to working in service of their communities.  It is unacceptable that Virunga’s rangers continue to pay the highest price in defense of our common heritage and we are devastated that their lives have been cut short in this way.

We send our deepest condolences to the families, wives and children they leave behind and remain committed to creating a better future for eastern Congo.”

The attack by MaiMai militia was the deadliest attack to Virunga staff in recent years and brings the total number of rangers killed to 175 to date.

Those killed were:

  • RANGER Jean de Dieu BYAMUNGU, aged 25
  • RANGER Barthelemie KAKULE MULEWA, aged 28
  • RANGER Théodore KASEREKA PRINCE, aged 25
  • RANGER Liévin MUMBERE KASUMBA, aged 28
  • RANGER Kananwa SIBOMANA, aged 22
  • ILA MURANDA, aged 30

Donations or contributions can be made at

Please ensure all enquiries are directed to at this difficult time.


  1. Jean GONCALVES April 10, 2018 Reply

    Honour and respect to brave people who gave their life to protect our common heritage. Deep admiration for all other rangers and their Chief Warden. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families.

  2. Maria April 10, 2018 Reply

    I am deeply, deeply shocked by this very sad news. These are very courageous young men who are committed to protect the innocent. My deepest condolence to the families, my thoughts are with them!

  3. Baheya Mohamed April 10, 2018 Reply

    Prayers and thoughts go out to the families of the deceased. Pray for God’s strength and safe keeping for the rangers who work selflessly and tirelessly to protect this amazing place and beautiful creatures. I have the utmost respect for you all

  4. Nikko April 10, 2018 Reply

    Why hero had to be killed. They are so yoing. Thank you for protecting wildlife risking your life. Deeply sorry and send love.

  5. Mark April 10, 2018 Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this has happened. I am often reading and thinking of Virunga and the rangers & staff that do so much good work. It is deeply upsetting to me that I cannot be of help or do anything of consequence from so far away, but please remember that people from around the world know of the work that the rangers and staff do, and they are very respected and held in very high esteem.

    Kia kaha !

  6. Ussiel morales April 10, 2018 Reply

    Dont send toughts and prayers, send money!

  7. Stephanie Jowers April 10, 2018 Reply

    Our Mozambican rangers and entire team at Luwire in the Niassa National Reserve send our deepest condolences. We stand united with you against these heinous wildlife crime atrocities. We carry them in our hearts as you mourn this indescribable loss on your amazing team.

  8. Jenny April 11, 2018 Reply

    This is horrible news. So sorry for the lives lost. They are all heroes, their families will always remember them proudly.

  9. Anita April 11, 2018 Reply

    Our hearts are hurting here in Cincinnati, Ohio, US. We love what you do for this world – you do not deserve this huge loss.

  10. Astrid April 11, 2018 Reply

    I am so very sad to hear this news and wish to express my sincere condolences. Your people do such a great job for the whole world to protect gorillas. I hope and pray that this senseless conflict ends soon!

  11. Maria April 11, 2018 Reply

    After watching the movie I was incredibly sad and mad that the rest of the world seems to go on without knowing or honoring what they face every day. I hope this movie, showing all over the world, helps. Also I would like to send a check–the donate on line seems confusing- and would like an address to do so. If anyone knows how to do this I would be most grateful.

  12. Ivi April 11, 2018 Reply

    R.I.P heroes

  13. Peter Owen April 11, 2018 Reply

    Such sad news, the work you do to protect these magnificent animals is truly world class and sets a standard that others can only aspire too in animal conservation. You deserve the respect of the international community R.I.P hero’s of animal conservation and sincere condolences to your families and loved ones.

  14. Donna April 13, 2018 Reply

    I wish there were adequate words to honor the fallen and to console their families and colleagues. So sorry, and so appreciative of your sacrifice.

  15. William April 21, 2018 Reply

    My deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these brave men. Words cannot express my sadness for this terrible loss of life. I am so grateful to these young men – and their families and colleagues – for their service in a great cause. ‘Hamba gahle’.

  16. Noelia May 14, 2018 Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. My greatest condolences to their families. Please know that we appreciate the effort the whole teams puts to defence this innocent animals.

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