Skulls of animals at Tshivanga station: For the next generation

Some years ago, during the hard time of the war, almost every day we used to hear gun firing in the hills from the park headquarters. We multiplied patrols inside the park and collected skulls of slaughtered animals from 45 different sites in total.

One day, we heard gun firing and we knew there was a group of gunmen. We organized a mixed patrol group including rangers, soldiers and our brave trackers who are pygmies who knew the forest so well that they could lead us without a compass. When we approached a slaughtering site, soldiers told us to move and stay back because we rangers had no more guns after confiscated by rebels. Soldiers jumped on the opportunity and fired several bullets. Animal slaughters ran away.

At the site, there was a big fire like a campfire, flesh of animals were being smoked above fire. Skin, bones, nails and teeth were put aside. Stock of meat was confiscated by soldiers and it was like their salaries for the work they did.

Those wildlife that were killed included, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, antelopes, hogs, cercopithecus, colobus monkeys.

Skull samples are displayed at Tshivanga station and tourists can see them.

It is horrific events but we use it as teaching materials for the new generation to know how to conserve a protected area and the surrounding communities in harmony.

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