Poachers are illegally hunting elephants, okapi, chimpanzees, monkeys and antelopes for bushmeat and ivory in the Ituri Forest of the DR Congo. Unsustainable hunting decimates wildlife populations and ever growing bushmeat and ivory markets are spurring illegal hunting. Protecting wildlife is challenging for wildlife rangers because the terrain is challenging and dangerous because poachers are often armed with automatic weapons.
Rangers patrol the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and remove snares, arrest poachers, destroy hunting camps, and confiscate illegal bushmeat and ivory. They work with local villagers to create an understanding of the value of the forest and wildlife.
If the forest is intact and the wildlife is protected a significant ecosystem is sustained and intact for our future. The value of tropical forests and wildlife is continually being reevaluated in the face of the challenges of global warming.