Thursday, December 4, 2008

Virunga Update

Without a doubt, my favorite blog of the year is by the rangers who protect the Mountain Gorillas at Virunga National Park. I started writing about them in my October 27th post.

For Video Friday (intermittent though it may be at this point in time), I am posting the above video to bring good cheer to all humans. After 14 months away from the Mikeno Gorilla Sector of the park, as a result of long discussions and negotiations with authorities by Emmanuel, the park's director, the rangers are able to return to the Gorilla Sector to resume their work.

On October 26th, the rangers had to flee their headquarters in Rumangabo, narrowly escaping with their lives. The above video shows the rangers reuniting with the local villagers of Rumangabo on November 21. Each time I watch it, I get all choked up as I witness their joy and relief. Great emotions, both.

One of the most interesting things I've learned is how the rangers keep track of the individuals in the Gorilla population. Each Gorilla has a unique nose print. For their current census, the rangers sketch a symbol representing that nose print next to the name of each gorilla with relevant notes. Play a guessing game to see if you can match the nose print to the Gorilla.

Just because they're so much fun to watch and because I'm not quite sure how long till my next post, here's today's video post by the rangers of one of the Gorilla families they're monitoring.

Want to follow the rangers' blog? Visit the blog and sign up.

Need a good place to put your extra pennies before the end of year? Send them to Virunga. It's your best best by a long shot. Contributing to Virunga not only helps the rangers and the remaining Mountain Gorillas, it also contributes to Peace on Earth in the midst of the most intense humanitarian crisis and ecological threat. That forest at Virunga is helping us all to breathe.

Here's yet another video by a ranger who explains where your money goes and why it is so valuable:

Finally, my own report. I sold my Virunga painting! As promised, as soon as I receive payment, I am forking the profits over to the Park.

Read Emmanuel's recent report on Virunga.

Visit my paintings at Landscape into Art.

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