Virunga National Park deeply regrets to announce the death of three park rangers, Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini, following an attack on their position in the northern sector of the park by Mai-Mai militia in the early hours of Monday 14 August 2017. One more ranger is currently missing in action. The incident occurred during a routine patrol, and tourism activities within the park remain unaffected.

Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the families and widows of Rangers Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini. Ranger Charles leaves behind his wife and eight children; Ranger Jonas leaves behind his wife and five children, and Ranger Pacifique leaves behind a wife and four children.

This incident brings the total number of rangers killed in the line of duty to eight in 2017. Over 160 rangers have sacrificed their lives protecting Virunga National Park in the last 20 years.

To support the families of Rangers Charles, Jonas and Pacifique, and all of our rangers, donations can be made to Virunga National Park’s Fallen Rangers Fund.

Please direct further enquiries to



  1. Marie August 15, 2017 Reply

    Again? That’s unbelievable… So many people sacrificing their lives to protect this gorgeous place and these amazing creatures, thank you for all you do and my sincere condolences to the families of the lives lost. Keep fighting x

  2. Eric August 15, 2017 Reply

    How can I help?

  3. Mike Laststar August 15, 2017 Reply

    What sad news this is today. I wish all of you strength in moving forward and in the work that you do. Sincere condolences.

  4. colleen sorensen August 15, 2017 Reply

    Condolences! 🙁 . How can I help?

  5. Couttenier Roxane August 16, 2017 Reply

    Toutes nos condoléances. Nos pensées vont à ces personnes courageuses qui sont tombées pour leur patrimoine ainsi qu’à toutes leurs familles et collègues Rangers du PN…

  6. Peter Short August 16, 2017 Reply

    Our sincere condolences to the guards family. Your loved ones were doing wonderful brave work, and the resulting deaths are tragic. RESPECT, and rest in piece. And thank you for what you tried to do.

  7. Jeremy August 16, 2017 Reply

    Just devastated at this news!

  8. Eileen Wesolowski August 16, 2017 Reply

    Heartbreaking very sad ! How can I help?

  9. Rolf August 16, 2017 Reply

    Sincere condolences to the families and friends.
    They died protecting one of the best causes in the world.

  10. Dave August 16, 2017 Reply

    to the several people asking how they can help….it says at the end of the article that you can donate to the fallen ranger fund.

  11. Dolores Donovan August 17, 2017 Reply

    So very sorry to hear this. Sincere condolences to the families of the people killed.

  12. JOHN LUMOO August 17, 2017 Reply

    Nos sinceres condoléances à ces vaillants gardes disparus pour pouvoir donner leurs vies pour la protection de ce patrimoine mondial.

  13. Marijke VE - Belgium August 17, 2017 Reply

    What terrible news – shocking!
    My thoughts are with their families – true heroes who sacrifice their lives.
    So sad 😔

  14. Adelard Palata August 17, 2017 Reply

    Mes sincères condoléances à la grande famille qui assure la protection de ce grand patrimoine. Que leurs âmes reposent en paix.

  15. Anne Jarvis August 18, 2017 Reply

    They died doing their jobs. Condolences to their families and friends. Thank you for your service to the animals.. You are truly heroes.

  16. Carmen August 18, 2017 Reply

    Thankyou for saving our planet. There are no words to express the sadness about what we are doing to animals and humans !

  17. William August 18, 2017 Reply

    My sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these brave men – among the very few who stand on the front line of an all too often near-forgotten, global struggle to protect the world’s natural and values. RIP.

  18. nicolala August 19, 2017 Reply

    Condoléances et courage a vous… nous vous soutenons!

  19. Rhonda August 20, 2017 Reply

    Deepest condolences to the families, friends and work colleagues. As Rangers you put your life on the line everyday. Your commitment to the conservation of these incredible animals is so greatly appreciated around the world. RIP.

  20. Kalina August 20, 2017 Reply

    I feel completely broken… I send all my love to the families left in grief. Let’s do what we can for Virunga…

  21. African Gorilla August 29, 2017 Reply

    This is really sad to hear. Poachers are really heartless but all this shall come to pass one day!

  22. MJK October 4, 2017 Reply

    Oh no ….one of the best moments of my life was spending 1 hour in the presence of those mountain Gorillas. In a world where the title of Hero is given to vapid celebrities….these park rangers are the true definition in my book.

  23. Bruce December 18, 2017 Reply

    nam-myoho-renge-kyo- a Buddhist prayer for all the wonderful gorillas of Virunga. And all the brave, dedicated
    rangers and their families

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