This book is a monument for all those died during their time in service for national parks in Congo and Rwanda. The writer (1926 – 2014) was a biologist who worked for the colonial government in Congo and later for the government of independent Zaire. For twenty years (1948 – 1968) he served as a warden and did extensive research. For his journeys in the extensive parks and adjoining areas he preferred to go on foot and be away for weeks and months on end, with his faithful crew . He talks about himself, but the major theme is the future of the parks, will there be a future? So many animals heave been killed in that period of service. It is incredible to read about thousand and thousands of wild animals of all kinds that have been killed. And what will be the influence of the increasing tourism on the wildlife and the forest? Verschure is not opposed to tourism in the parks, but he sees too much damage done to the parks to make life easy for the tourists.
At the beginning I wrote that this book is a monument, a monument for those whose life was taken during duty. Some were killed by animals, some were killed by rebels, some were killed by poachers, some were killed by the harsh climate. He mentions the names of the Parks and those who gave their life, not just for the elephants but also for the other animals and the flora. It is a well deserved tribute for those who did not go without a name.
Jacques Verschure – Mouirir pour les éléphants – 1970