Virunga National Park Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, killed in action

13th May 2018, North Kivu, Eastern DRC

It is with deep sadness that Virunga National Park confirms the death of 25 year old Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, during a serious incident on the morning of Friday 11 May.

Ranger Baraka was critically injured whilst protecting two passengers and the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in, when it was attacked by armed assailants. Following the incident, Ranger Baraka was transferred to a nearby hospital to receive emergency medical treatment. Shortly afterwards, she sadly died of her injuries.

Park Director, Emmanuel de Merode, stated: “Ranger Baraka’s life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park. She was one of the Park’s 26 female rangers and was highly committed, showing true bravery in her work. We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.”

Virunga has lost eight rangers since the start of 2018 alone – a stark reminder of the level of risk they undertake on a daily basis to help conserve the Park’s wildlife and protect local communities.

To help support Ranger Baraka’s family at this extremely difficult time, donations can be made at

All enquiries should be directed to





  1. Diane Nassir May 13, 2018 Reply

    Memory Eternal Ranger Rachel Masika Baraka-you are a Hero and an Angel!

  2. Melissa and Brianna May 13, 2018 Reply

    Rachel was our ranger for our recent trip to the DRC and we passed some nice moments with her. She was a vivacious and determined woman and we are incredibly sad to hear of her passing and the recent events surrounding her death. Our condolences to her family, friends and the park.

  3. Amanda mcfeeters May 13, 2018 Reply

    My condolences to Rachels family and friends in this time of sadness. She was our protector recently during a very memorable visit to your park and her dedication and love of her job as Ranger will forever be with me. She was a beautifull soul

  4. Karolien Buets May 14, 2018 Reply

    My deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Rachel. I am honoured to have met her.

  5. masereka jockus May 14, 2018 Reply

    RIP racheal…………….good u died whilst on duty

  6. Tom f May 19, 2018 Reply

    My heart fills with sadness to think about what happened to this brave, courageous, passionate young lady. She gave her life protecting this truly unique park and her memory will live on forever. Let’s make sure her death and that of the other rangers, that were brutally taken from us too early, were not in vain. To all the right rangers, please keep on doing what you do.. The gorillas and the rest of us are truly appreciative. Rest in peace.

  7. Angie Gangelhoff May 25, 2018 Reply

    We are very sad for Rachel family. Nothing more sad then to lose one of your children. Our prayers are with you.
    Leonard and Angie Gangelhoff
    Sandstone, MN

  8. elizabeth holliday June 15, 2018 Reply

    Deeply tragic and SO sad and dismaying. Guns killed that girl. Guns empowered the samples who used them. Guns kill the animals…Take good care of the rest of you during this disappointing violent time .

  9. Sabina Wacket-Alphei July 5, 2018 Reply

    So sad to hear of another brutal murder among those courageous, passionate rangers, so dedicated to their difficult and dangerous job of protecting Virunga Park for the planet. My deep and honest emphasis with her family and highest respect for all her colleages risking their lives every day.

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