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Endangered Gorillas

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Conservation rangers evacuate the bodies of four mountain gorillas found shot in the forest.

The highly endangered gorillas live in an area beset with conflict. Rebel leaders in the region maintain that the Congolese government is collaborating with the Hutu-led FDLR (Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda), which was accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda. Rebel militia have entered the national park in pursuit of FDLR fighters who they say are hiding there.

It is not always clear who is attacking the gorillas, but a number have been killed in ways that parallel human executions during the Rwandan genocide. Some are eaten as bush-meat. The gorillas' habitat is also being destroyed as both militia and illegal charcoal-makers are cutting down trees. There are an estimated 700 mountain gorillas remaining worldwide. More than half of these live in Virunga, where at least nine were killed during 2007. Rangers trying to protect gorillas have also come under attack.

Commissioned by: Reportage by Getty Images for Newsweek

Location: Virunga National Park, DR Congo


Photo Credit: Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton is the senior correspondent for Getty Images and Verbatim Photo.

He does most of his work for National Geographic Magazine, Human Rights Watch, Le Figaro, GEO and other international titles.

Brent shoots issues related to the environment, to diminishing resources and on global health issues. His commercial clients include Coke, Nike, and Novartis, amongst others.



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