Please consider the environment before printing | PDF version
Forest ranger, Zomedel Pierre Achille, was brutally murdered by gorilla poachers near Lobéké National Park in Cameroon, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Gorilla poachers brutally murder forest ranger
October 09, 2011
Female western lowland gorilla with infant in captivity. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Achille and another ranger, Jean Fils Mamendji, attempted to take poachers into custody after discovering the bodies of two Western lowland gorillas in the poachers' camp. The rangers were fired on and both shot, however, Mamendji was able to escape.
A rescue mission found Achille the next day, but he was dead. The poachers had tied his body, naked, to a tree and beat him, perhaps with a rifle.
Father of five, Achille had been a forest ranger in Cameroon for 12 years. This is the first murder of wildlife ranger in Cameroon in recent years. Violent conflicts have increased as the government is working to crack-down on poachers.
"Rangers are putting on a uniform every day to protect their wildlife, their forests and ultimately, the well-being of their communities from individuals who seek only to commit criminal acts such as trafficking protected species," David Greer, WWF’s African Great Ape Coordinator, said in a press release. "These brave men are going into battle under-equipped and often without proper training. Law enforcement efforts at all levels need to be dramatically scaled up, especially in the typically weak judicial systems."
Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List with a population that has been cut by over 80 percent in three generations. Gorillas are vanishing due to habitat loss, poaching and the Ebola virus. Gorilla parts are sold as bushmeat, often in hand-size packages of meat.
Authorities are working to track-down Achille's killers.
"As this case goes well beyond wildlife crime, we expect that our government partners will take the necessary steps to locate and bring these assailants to justice, while making a firm statement that criminal behavior will receive swift and severe punishment," Greer adds. "Anything less would dishonor to the memory of our brave, fallen colleague."
After another ranger killed, Virunga National Park requests UN peacekeepers
(02/01/2011) Less than a week after 3 wildlife rangers and 5 soldiers were killed in Virunga National Park by the rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), another ranger has been killed and a driver put in the hospital in critical condition. The situation has pushed park authorities to request UN peacekeepers for the park.
Eight rangers, soldiers killed in Virunga National Park
(01/25/2011) Yesterday morning, 3 wildlife rangers and 5 soldiers working in Virunga National Park were killed by the rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). These 8 were killed and 3 more wounded when their vehicle was fired on by FDLR rebels with rocket launchers. Park director Emmanuel de Merode told the AFP that it was the most serious incident to occur in Virunga National Park in the past 12 months.
Guerrillas could drive gorillas toward extinction in Congo, warns UN
(03/25/2010) Gorillas may disappear across much of the Congo Basin by the mid 2020s unless action is taken to protect against poaching and habitat destruction, warns a new report issued by United Nations and INTERPOL.
Mongabay.com seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development.
Copyright mongabay 2009