In Garamba National Park, in Democratic Republic of Congo, 13 park rangers have been killed in the past three years, and 256 elephants have been taken for their tusksand these days, the poachers often arrive in uniform, with an arsenal of weapons to match.

Garamba National Park

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Fifteen shots felled the elephant. It was a few weeks into Congos springtime rainy season, and the animal, an adult male, collapsed among dense green stalks of yard-high grass. A few miles away, Dieudonn Kanisa, a compact and muscular Congolese ranger, heard the shots as he patrolled the northern bank of the meandering Garamba River, looking for poachers. With his four fellow rangers beside him, Kanisa moved toward the gunfire.