Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is the oldest national park in Africa, and among the oldest worldwide. Nowhere in Africa can so many different species and varieties of habitats been found in a single park. Because of this richness and the presence of some of the world's most critically endangered species,
such as the Mountain Gorilla and Okapi, Virunga was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Despite decades of civil war and over 130 rangers killed in the line
of duty, Virunga has not lost a single species. Through the most
violent periods and often working without pay, Virunga's rangers have
never wavered in their commitment to protecting the park. Because of
this legendary dedication, Virunga's population of mountain gorillas has actually increased, and for this, the world owes them a debt of gratitude.
In early 2011, Dr. Marlene Zähner came to Virunga with a special breed of Bloodhound dog to aid park rangers in tracking down poachers and to help restore law and order. Zahner and her team of rangers are now able to track poachers and other criminals through even the most challenging terrain."