Man and mountain gorrillas in natural balance
Content submitted by – Lili
Submited Date : 28/06/2018
Jean Damascene Hakizimana and his colleague at the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

My name is Jean Damascene Hakizimana. I’m the head ranger in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. And this is my story…I was born in 1972, and I live near the Volcanoes National Park. I grew up seeing that the park was facing some illegal activities, such as poaching, so I grew up wanting to be a guide or a ranger. I wanted to be a ranger or a guide as I loved so much the gorillas.I explain to my family and to my friends that I am doing activities related to park protection – coordinating activities of protecting the park, organizing routine park patrols, short patrols, camp patrols and cross-border patrols that are coordinated patrols. Our cross border patrols are done with our neighboring country Uganda because this park is trans-boundary. On one side, we have the Mgahinga National Park and, on the other side, we have the Bwindi Park, so for protecting this park, we do a joint patrol. We have to make sure all equipment to enter the park is available, such as radio for communication, binoculars which helps us to observe the things very far from us. We have guns for protection. We monitor all of our activities in the park. We face some challenges related to the few number of rangers we have in this park. We collaborate with the community in order to monitor all activities that are being done by surrounding communities outside the park. Because I love so much gorillas, I also made some environmental clubs to help protect the gorillas and the whole environment. Doing this work, I am able to continue my studies, improve my communication skills, and I also benefited from many trainings related to the conservation of the park. Now, I am able to do mapping and use some software that helps me to do reports which are used in park management. My children and my family are very very happy of the job I am doing, and they support me very very much.