Last Chance for Animals Condemns Massacre by FDLR Militia at Virunga National Park

17 Killed; Virunga Staff of 12 Rangers,1 driver and 4 Civilians

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES


LOS ANGELES, May 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an animal advocacy group and supporter of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, condemns the senseless violence by militia group FDLR that claimed the lives of Virunga’s staff of 12 rangers, a driver and four civilians.

Watch LCA’s video dedicated to the 12 fallen rangers and driver at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i69fNUVyHd0

LCA began supporting the rangers and trackers responsible for protecting the mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda in 2006 by supplying essential equipment. Since 2016, LCA has been actively supporting the AirWing of Virunga National Park, beginning with a donated Cessna 206. This first donated Cessna was used to medivac the wounded and transport Virunga’s fallen rangers and driver back home to their families.

Virunga is no stranger to violence with more than 220 park rangers killed in recent decades as they defend and protect more than 3,000 square miles of unparalleled biodiversity including forests, mountains and savanna as well as hundreds of animal species, including the endangered mountain gorilla. Virunga is Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse wildlife reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site.

“This act of mass murder was motivated by greed,” said Chris DeRose, President & Founder of Last Chance for Animals. “There are those who continue to exploit the resources of the park for personal gain and – in doing so – committed this vile act. The fallen rangers were stewards of the park and proud to dedicate their lives and careers towards preservation.”

Virunga National Park is home to over 300 of Africa’s remaining 1,000 endangered mountain gorillas. The gorillas’ survival depends on the rangers, who risk their lives daily, to protect them from poaching, regional political instability and deforestation. The mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif, which combines Rwanda, Uganda, Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
LCA is committed to supporting the rangers, the park, and the animals, including the mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park. Virunga’s AirWing is an indispensable line of defense for the park.

ABOUT LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS:
LCA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation's pioneer animal advocacy groups. LCA's educational and public outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for animals in their communities. For more information, visit https://www.lcanimal.org/.

CONTACT: Kevin Mercuri
kevin@propheta.com

A video accompanying this news is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a3b29426-b510-4a1c-8f9f-ca0a6d0efc80