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Deadly Attack on Okapi Wildlife Reserve Leaves Community Shaken

July 12, 2012

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo covers more than three million acres, and houses 13 primate species, forest elephants, and animals found nowhere else on Earth, including the okapi, a forest giraffe.

On June 24th, 2012 a gang of armed poachers launched an attack on the reserve’s headquarters, leaving seven people dead and all of the park’s infrastructure destroyed. Buildings and equipment were ransacked and burned, while 15 of the park’s rare okapi giraffes were killed.

Corneille Ewango won the Goldman Prize in 2005 for his effort to protect and preserve the Okapi Reserve through nearly a decade of civil war. The Prize has confirmed that Ewango and his family were not harmed during the attack and are safe in the capital city of Kinshasa.

The Okapi Reserve and the surrounding community desperately need help rebuilding. Flora and Fauna International has launched an emergency fundraising campaign to help get the reserve back on its feet and to prevent poachers from meeting their objective of freely moving about the reserve in their search for elephant tusks.

To make a donation, please visit this website: http://www.justgiving.com/okapi

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