Tuesday 29 February 2000

Four of the world's highly-endangered mountain gorillas have been killed in the crossfire between the warring Congo government troops and the Rwandan soldiers. They belonged to a gorilla family living in the Virunga National Park, located in the Rwanda-Congo border.

In 1995, the family had lost its dominant silverback male to poachers. A new silverback, Kabirizi, was heading the pack but he was among those killed. Once the shooting began, the gorillas became extremely agitated. When the soldiers appeared, Kabirizi, who was not yet accustomed to people, tried to protect his family. He charged at the soldiers, but was immediately killed along with the other three.

The Africa Wildlife Foundation is now asking for financial support to enable them to safeguard the mountain gorillas.

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