Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

2017
07.31.2018
Rangers Project
On #WorldRangerDay, we are so proud of the efforts of our rangers, who show dedication and resilience, despite the dangers they face.

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07.22.2018
Ephrem Balole, Manager of Virunga SARL, receives his PhD
Congratulations to Ephrem Balole, Manager of Virunga SARL, who received his PhD from the University of Kinshasa last week! Ephrem has been r...

Explore EPHREM BALOLE, MANAGER OF VIRUNGA SARL, RECEIVES HIS PHD

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06.06.2018
Rangers Project
We are so proud that Jolie, one of Virunga’s female rangers, shared her story of what motivated her to become a ranger at the European Devel...

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06.05.2018
Fallen Rangers Project
Representatives from the Rumangabo Widows sewing workshop attended the European Development Days conference in Brussels, where they showcase...

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05.31.2018
Virunga coffee launches!
One for the coffee fans out there: every purchase of Higher Grounds' Kawa Kanzururu Coffee goes towards supporting the development work of V...

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05.31.2018
Rangers Project
We are so delighted to share the news that the mountain gorilla population has surpassed 1000! Incredible news for Virunga and incredible news for conservation, and testament to the continued work of Virunga's Rangers in ensuring the protection of the species.

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02.13.2018
Fallen Rangers Fund
Children of the fallen Rangers playing in the child care center at the widows workshop! On-site child care reduces the initial stressors tha...

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12.05.2017
Fallen Rangers Fund
A total of 68 widows and 190 children of fallen Rangers, are now, thanks to the Fallen Rangers Fund, being offered financial support, education, and meaningful employment.

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09.11.2017
Rangers Project
Today, Park Rangers along with the Gorilla Doctors team successfully located the Rugendo group and removed a deadly snare from the arm of yo...

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07.30.2017
Rangers Project
Happy World Ranger Day! We are extremely proud and grateful to all our Rangers. These men and women are deeply committed to Virunga and ensu...

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07.29.2017
Rangers Project
Last week marked the completion of 5 months of incredibly tough training for Virunga's newest Rangers. 6500 applied, 81 made it through.

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01.12.2017
Fallen Rangers Fund
A beautiful selection of napkins made by the widows of fallen Rangers are on sale at Mikeno Lodge.

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Photo Credit: Brent Stirton; Logo Credit: David Shepard

Photo Credit: Adam Kiefer; Logo Credit: David Shepard

Photo credit: Brent Stirton; Logo credit: David Shepard

Photo credit: Brent Stirton; Logo credit: David Shepard

Photo credit: Orlando von Einsiedel

Photo credit: Brent Stirton; Logo credit: David Shepard

Explore Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse protected area

Unlike anywhere else in the world, Virunga National Park contains some of the greatest national treasures on earth

About Virunga

Learn more

Stability through sustainable development in the eastern Congo

The Virunga Alliance is working to create an alternative economy that enables surrounding communities to benefit from the National Park

Virunga Alliance

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Meet the heroes who risk their lives to protect the Park’s wildlife and local communities

Rangers’ work is critical to the stability of the Park and the safety of the lives that surround it

Rangers Project

Learn more

Meet the orphan gorillas of Virunga’s Senkwekwe Center

The world’s only sanctuary caring for mountain gorillas separated from their families by poaching or conflict

Gorilla Orphan Project

Learn more

August 12, 2018
Park News

Severely Injured Baby Mountain Gorilla Rescued

A baby female mountain gorilla was found caught in a poacher’s snare, and rangers stepped in to save her.


On June 12th, Southern Sector Warden, Innocent Mburanumwe, was notified by his rangers at the Gikeri Patrol Post that a baby female mountain gorilla had been found caught in a poacher’s snare. The baby had suffered a severe foot injury from the snare and had clearly been alone in the jungle for several days. Innocent immediately called upon Gorilla Doctors Eddy Kambale and Martin Kabuyaya to free the baby and provide medical treatment.


Upon arrival, Eddy and Martin found the baby to be in critical condition. Although alone, there were signs the baby’s family had tried to free it from the snare. Unable to do so, the family had moved on. Initially, the baby was thought to be from an non-habituated group, but after closely examining the shape of its nose (one of the primary methods used to identify gorillas), the Gorilla Doctors determined their patient to be Yalala from the Kabirizi family. Based on the extent of infection in her foot, Yalala was likely ensnared for close to a week before being found.


Rangers and Gorilla Doctors alike hoped that Yalala could be treated and reunited with her family, but after closely examining her wound, Eddy and Martin found the tissue in her foot to be completely necrotic. With the lethal threat of sepsis looming, the Gorilla Doctors had no choice but to perform a field amputation of Yalala’s foot. Just as night began to fall, the doctors successfully completed the procedure. Yalala was then immediately taken to the Senkwekwe Center for orphan gorillas in Rumangabo. Over the next 12 hours, the team worked to stabilize the baby gorilla, but it proved difficult. Unable to start a regular IV because of her severe dehydration, the Gorilla Doctors opted for an intraosseous infusion of fluids — fluids delivered directly into the bone marrow. They also inserted a nasal feeding tube. Immediately upon receiving fluids and food, young Yalala began making a comeback. The previously listless gorilla let Dr. Eddy know she was on the rebound by biting him twice. Her bites were searingly painful, but Dr. Eddy welcomed the signs of her recovery.


Babo Ntakarimaze, one of Senkwekwe Center’s most skilled caregivers, will be attending to Yalala’s every need in the coming months. She has just started what will be a long recovery, but before the year is out, she’ll likely be able to join her new gorilla family at the center. Until then, Ndeze, Ndakasi, Matabishi, and particularly Maishi, will be seizing every chance to catch a glimpse of the newcomer in the compound below them. No doubt Yalala will be equally curious.

Join the Effort to Protect Virunga National Park

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