The population has been steadily growing for the last 30 years and will become one of the successful critically endangered species programs in the world. This has been achieved against a backdrop of civil war, chronic underfunding and disease epidemics such as Ebola. The program’s success largely comes down to the commitment of Virunga’s rangers and the steady support of a worldwide community of supporters.
The cold-blooded murder of six members of the Rugendo family on July 22, 2007, was arguably one of Virunga’s darkest hours. This terrible event underscores the need to constantly protect Virunga’s gorillas and other wildlife.
The Park has undergone significant institutional and security reforms since this tragic event and Virunga’s mountain gorilla population is now on the rise.