In 2007 I went to Virunga National Park on an assignment, and I was working with a group of rangers who were fighting paramilitary groups. We got word that some critically endangered mountain gorillas had been killed under mysterious circumstances. That’s when I first met Ndakasi, in a heavy downpour. She was a few months old and clinging to her mother’s dead body, the blood from multiple AK-47 rounds pooling in the rain around her as the infant tried in vain to suckle her mom.
This senseless killing was a big deal at the time—then there were only 400 mountain gorillas, though today there are still only a little over a thousand of these animals