The rangers at Virunga National Park have both the coolest and one of the most dangerous jobs out there.
Virunga National Park is in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The park is home to more than 3 000 fauna and floral species, of which more than 300 are endemic to the Albertine Rift – including the eastern gorilla and golden monkey. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site, protected by a dedicated team of more than 600 rangers.
A photo has recently gone viral that shows one of the rangers at the park, posing together with two gorillas, reports BoredPanda.
The now viral photo shows one of the rangers posing together with two gorillas who live in the National Park, safe from poachers or any armed conflicts that may affect their wellbeing.
…In the past, this place was deeply impacted by wars and armed conflicts that not only disturb the lives of humans but wildlife animals as well. Gorillas are also poached for many reasons such as food, traditional medicine, and bushmeat trade. Rangers are fighting to protect these poor animals and their incredible bond is clearly visible in the photos.
It would also make for a pretty good album cover.
All of the rangers undergo intense training that allows them to stay safe while protecting the park.
“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.
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 World Heritage by UNESCO.
The photos form part of a campaign to raise awareness and funding for the park.
Virunga national park is one of the world’s most biodiverse protected areas in the world and is home to 218 mammal, 706 bird, 109 reptile, 78 amphibian and 22 primate species.
Around one-third of the world’s population of critically endangered mountain gorillas live in the park. Rangers fight every day in order to keep the area safe, in total, 179 rangers have lost their lives while protecting these animals.
If you’re keen to help out, go here.
Those gorillas have some serious selfie skills.
Also, you might want to watch Virunga, which is an emotional rollercoaster of a documentary:
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