Rebels seize habitat for endangered gorillas
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- Rebels have seized an area in eastern Congo that serves as a wildlife habitat for endangered mountain gorillas, threatening one of the last known populations of the animals, conservationists said Sunday.
Shelling and heavy gunfire could be heard from the headquarters of the Virunga National Park, and rangers were forced to flee over the weekend, said the international conservation group WildlifeDirect.
Only 700 mountain gorillas exist in the world, of which more than half live in the Virunga conservation area, a huge swath of territory at the intersection of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
Rebels loyal to warlord Laurent Nkunda have frequently battled over the park in their clashes with the army. Caught in the crossfire are the rare gorillas, 10 of which have been killed this year.
Is there any room left for anything but humans and their wars?