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Rwanda | Poaching down in Akagera NP thanks to improved relations with local communities

The first time Bugingo Gaspard illegally entered Akagera National Park in Rwanda, he was 10 years old. With no fence separating the now 112,200-hectare (277,300-acre) protected area from the agricultural plots of community members, families in the neighboring villages frequently grazed livestock past the park limits, sharing grass with impala, zebra and other protected wildlife.

While grazing a herd of cattle, Gaspard and his friends were startled by a bushbuck, an antelope native to the region. Together the children stoned the animal to death, acting mostly from a kind of misguided childish curiosity.

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