Some people dedicate their entire lives to saving nature and endangered wildlife. Rangers at The Virunga National Park, in the DRC, are some of these humans who will restore your faith in humanity. Ranger Mathieu Shamavu’s now-viral photo shows him posing with two gorillas who live in the National Park, safe from poachers or any armed conflicts that may affect their well-being.
Virunga National Park is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site and is maintained by more than 600 anti-poaching rangers. Historically, this area had been profoundly affected by armed conflicts and war-like situations, which left a significant negative impact on the populations who inhabited the region, and the animals living in the surrounding area. Unfortunately, the gorillas in the animal kingdom had been killed due to traditional medicine, food, and the bushmeat trade. Rangers are fighting to protect these poor animals, and their incredible bond is visible in the photos.
To be employed, the rangers must undergo intense training to ensure the rangers’ and gorillas’ safety in this dangerous job, which aims to protect the park’s endangered species. This park chiefly survives on donations from the public. A kind donation of $150 can feed an orphaned gorilla for two weeks. Smaller donations are also accepted and can be used to purchase boots for the rangers and provide safe facilities to the endangered gorillas.
The rangers find this job to be a rewarding and challenging task since the animals show their complete trust for the Rangers, which is observed in the photos.
Note that, Virunga National Park is home to 22 primate species, 78 amphibia, 109 reptiles, 706 bird, and 218 mammals. Almost a third of the endangered mountain gorillas population throughout the world live in this park. Daily, rangers fight to keep the wildlife safe. Unfortunately, 179 wildlife soldiers have lost their lives while protecting these animals.
“There is a bond that ties us together. A relationship that is very, very close between the guardians and the gorillas,” says Andre Bauma, the manager of the Senkwekwe Centre. The rangers and the gorillas display an unconditional love towards one another at the Virunga National Park.
The park had been founded in 1925 to defend its rich biodiversity; the region has the presence of the last 880 mountain gorillas. In 1979, it was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and has created a mesmerizing example for human beings around the world.