DR Congo at 50 by Stephan Vanfleteren

Image 19 of 50
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Kambale Buyori, park-keeper: 'I have been a park-keeper in the Virunga nature park for six years. Before that, I was a private soldier for 13 years. I often ended up in fire fights. Shooting on all sides, from hilltop to hilltop. I wasn't afraid, that's part of the game. But I still don't like seeing corpses. As a park-keeper I have to arrest smugglers in the illegal charcoal trade and protect the silverback gorillas against the rebels and poachers. I consider that an honour, because I am moved by the beauty and power of the rare mountain gorilla. Because there are only 700 mountain gorillas left in the world, 150 of them here in the Virunga Park. With such a small population, you realise how important just one gorilla life is. We often come into contact with them in the hills. I once patted the knee of the goriall leader, Mukoya. Mukoya means "he that comes closer". Believe me, when you sit next to such an imposing animal it's a privilege to risk your life to preserve such a rare and fine species as the silverback.'..