Guest blog by Lucas Meers, Okapi Conservation Project program officer.
Being able to see our favorite animals, like elephants, rhinos, tigers, lions, okapis, and gorillas in the wild, animals largely targeted by poachers and wildlife traffickers—is made possible because of the many brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect them.
Today, on this 10th World Ranger Day, we pause to honor these brave rangers who made such great sacrifices, and we also celebrate those who continue to fight to protect wild animals and wild places. We want to ensure that their every day sacrifices (under extremely hostile conditions) are not going unnoticed, and are deeply appreciated.
This particular World Ranger Day comes after the recent attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve by an unknown group of armed men that killed four rangers.
We are devastated by the loss of four precious lives of such generous people who worked tirelessly to protect the forest and the animals that live within. We must also not forgot about their families, friends, and communities left behind.
Okapi Conservation Project is covering both the costs of the mission to retrieve the fallen rangers from the forest and their funerals to relieve the financial burden on their families. We are also committed to supporting their ongoing healthcare costs and their children’s school fees.
Any support from our global community of supporters is most welcome and much appreciated, to help the affected families and honor the dedicated rangers who lost their lives protecting the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. Click here to send your support.