Virunga National Park deeply regrets to announce the death of Park Ranger Faustin Biriko Nzabakurikiza, from injuries sustained following an incident in the park’s central sector on the morning of 1st April. Ranger Faustin and his colleagues came under attack by armed men during a routine patrol. Tragically, Ranger Faustin was killed in action during an exchange of fire. The situation has since been stabilized and the area secured. Tourism and other park services have not been affected.
Ranger Faustin was a highly dedicated and courageous young ranger, having worked for the ICCN since 2014. Virunga National Park wishes to extend our deepest condolences Ranger Biriko’s family for their tragic loss, and to offer our sincere gratitude for his service.
Ranger Faustin leaves behind his pregnant wife and 10 month old child. To help support them at this extremely difficult time, please consider a donation to Virunga National Park.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
The Virunga National Park (Parc National des Virunga), in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is 7,800-square-kilometres (3,000 sq mi) stretching from the Virunga Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
The park was established in 1925 as Africa’s first national park and is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site since 1979. In recent years poaching and the Congo Civil War have seriously damaged its wildlife population. The park is managed by the Congolese National Park Authorities, the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and its partner the Virunga Foundation.
The Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) is a Congolese governmental partner tasked with the protection and conservation of the Virunga National Park and Kahuzi-Biega National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Members of the ICCN are charged with the overall protection of the parks and the endangered Mountain Gorilla.