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With Approximately 880 Mountain Gorillas Remaining in the Wild, LCA Is Providing Crucial Support to Park Rangers Anti-Poaching Efforts Through Improved Air Support in the Congo
LOS ANGELES, CA --(Marketwired - March 21, 2016) - International nonprofit Last Chance for Animals ("LCA") announced today that it has launched an emergency fundraising campaign to increase supplies of essential equipment needed for the rangers who protect the severely endangered mountain gorillas at Virunga National Park in Africa.
The most recent murders of Congolese park rangers at the wildlife reserve has prompted LCA to increase its existing campaign efforts to supply essential air support gear to Virunga's staff. Due to political instability, poaching, and illegal oil exploration, over 150 rangers in the Congo's Virunga Park have been killed in the last decade, as reported in the Academy Award nominated documentary film Virunga, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and currently airing on Netflix.
Mountain gorillas are a critically endangered species and one of the world's rarest animals -- with about 880 total remaining in the wild in Africa. 480 of these gorillas live in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif, which spreads across three countries: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But with a varied terrain and limited capacity to deploy rangers to every corner of the park on short notice, the Congo's park authority believes a functional and modern AirWing program will provide the best possible tool to secure the park and reduce threats to its wildlife populations.
Since 2006, LCA has been supporting the rangers in Uganda and Rwanda by providing equipment to aid them in protecting the gorillas, including aerial communications systems with 11 outstations, Motorola handheld radios, Garmin GPS units, rain suits and camouflaged surveillance camera. This equipment has had a significant impact on the safety of the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, as the coverage and speed of communications has vastly improved for all park operations, especially patrols.
Now, LCA is focusing its campaign efforts on the urgent needs of the Congolese rangers who live and work under life threatening conditions to protect mountain gorillas and all wildlife in Virunga park against poachers and local militias.
"The rangers at Virunga National Park risk their lives every day to protect the endangered mountain gorillas of Africa. The very least we can do as a global community is to support them by providing their AirWing program with vital equipment they need to protect them and the parks' gorillas from harm," said LCA President and Founder Chris DeRose. "We are in a race against extinction and urge the international community to support LCA's efforts by donating now to safeguard the valiant rangers of Virunga and their efforts to protect the last remaining mountain gorillas on earth."
To make a donation and learn more about the mountain gorillas, please visit http://www.LCAsavingGorillas.org.
Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation's pioneer animal advocacy groups. LCA's educational and public outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for animals in their communities. For more information, visit http://www.lcanimal.org/.