Last Chance for Animals

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Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and are one of the world’s rarest animals, with only about 900 remaining in the wild in Africa. About 480 gorillas live in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif, which combines Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  About 420 gorillas also live in Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Rangers in Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo risk their lives to protect the animals. Due to political instability, poaching and illegal oil exploration, over 175 rangers in Congo’s Virunga park have been killed in the last decade (as portrayed in Netflix’s Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature -  Virunga), with the most recent killings of 7 rangers and 1 staff driver during the six week period of April 1 - May 11, 2018.

Since 2006, LCA has provided critical support to the Ugandan and Rwandan Wildlife Authorities in the protection of the endangered mountain gorillas.  Beginning in 2016, LCA has been the major supporter of the AirWing program in Congo's Virunga National Park, providing support to the ranger’s anti-poaching efforts through improved air support. Measuring over 3,000 square miles, Virunga extends over an area roughly equivalent to Yellowstone National Park.  With a varied terrain and limited capacity to deploy rangers to every corner of the park on short notice, the park authority believes the availability of a functional and modern AirWing provides the best possible tool to secure the park, protect the rangers, and reduce threats to Virunga’s wildlife populations, including the majestic mountain gorilla.

 

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