In Memoriam: Virunga National Park Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, killed in action

NORTH KIVU, Eastern DRC, May 14, 2018 – It is with deep sadness that Virunga National Park confirms the death of 25 year old Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, during a serious incident on the morning of Friday 11 May.

Ranger Baraka was critically injured whilst protecting two passengers and the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in, when it was attacked by armed assailants. Following the incident, Ranger Baraka was transferred to a nearby hospital to receive emergency medical treatment. Shortly afterwards, she sadly died of her injuries.

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Park Director, Emmanuel de Merode, stated: “Ranger Baraka’s life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park. She was one of the Park’s 26 female rangers and was highly committed, showing true bravery in her work. We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident.”

Virunga has lost eight rangers since the start of 2018 alone – a stark reminder of the level of risk they undertake on a daily basis to help conserve the Park’s wildlife and protect local communities.

To help support Ranger Baraka’s family at this extremely difficult time, donations can be made at virunga.org/donate.