Sumy Sadurni

Photographer
   
The lowland gorillas of Kahuzi-Biega
Location: Uganda
Nationality: Spanish-Mexican-Chilean
Biography: Sumy is a freelance journalist and photographer originally currently based in Kampala, Uganda covering the East Africa region. She is fluent in spoken and written English, Spanish and French. Her work is primarily focused on international current... MORE
Public Story
The lowland gorillas of Kahuzi-Biega
Copyright Sumy Sadurni 2023
Updated Nov 2021
Topics congo
Bonane, 17, leads the way through the rainforest in the search for food, followed by his wives Iragi and Mukono, who are caring for their own babies. The silverback's group is one of 14 lowland gorillas families living in Kahuzi- Biega, one of the Democratic Republic of Congo's largest national parks, situated in the South Kivu region.
Unlike their more well-known cousins, the mountain gorillas from Virunga, these primates live in lowland rainforests in eastern Congo- though that can also be to their detriment as the land is more accessible to poachers, miners and farmers. Insecurity and logistics make Kahuzi Biega a difficult destination for tourism, which greatly affects the amount of funds that go towards the preservation of the area.
Around 240 rangers dedicate their lives to the conservation and protection of gorillas of     Kahuzi Biega. Every day, each gorilla family is appointed to 6 rangers that will track them down and observe their behaviours and also their surroundings, to make sure the animals and land are safe from poachers and local guerrillas such as the Mai Mai militias. 
Rangers and gorillas depend on each other to survive, as Lambert, one of the oldest rangers of the park, explains: “People killing gorillas hurts my heart so much. No gorillas and no Kahuzi Biega means no life for me and my family. I will protect them for the rest of my life”.
This is an exclusive report about one of Congo’s untapped treasures.  
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The lowland gorillas of Kahuzi-Biega by Sumy Sadurni
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