Over the last six months, Virunga has had incident after incident of park wildlife getting into dangerous confrontations with local villagers. With human population density increasing rapidly around Virunga’s Mikeno mountain gorilla sector, these confrontations will undoubtedly increase. With only 880 mountain gorillas left on the planet, we cannot afford to lose a single animal, yet this year we have already lost one to conflicts with local villagers. Numerous forest buffalo have been killed as well. These confrontations have also left one woman dead and 16 seriously injured — all from wounds inflicted by crop raiding buffalo. Because wildlife cannot be taught to stay within the park’s boundary any more than people can be expected not to farm fertile lands that abut the boundary, something must be done to keep them apart.
A pilot electric fence project in northern Virunga has shown great promise in preventing such conflicts. Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode has already begun moving forward with full-scale implementation of a wildlife fence in the southern Mikeno sector. Thanks to generous support from Frankfurt Zoological Society, enough posts have been placed in the ground to support 30km of fencing and 18km has been electrified. Virunga National Park is urgently seeking support from the international community to finish the construction of the fence. We need your help!
Graphic reasons why you should support Virunga’s electric wildlife fence project:
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