Marijuana Trade Threatens African Gorilla Refuge

Pot-growing rebels in Virunga National Park clashing with rangers.

In early April a ranger in the park, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was shot to death by militias—the eighth ranger to have been killed in the past three months.

And rebels who have been fueling the illegal charcoal business, which destroys critical gorilla habitat, now appear to have turned to an additional criminal activity: growing marijuana. (Read more about the Virunga gorillas.)

"The same people are involved," said Innocent Mburanumwe, the warden in charge of the southern sector of Virunga, where the mountain gorillas live.

A crackdown on the charcoal and marijuana businesses

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