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Watch This: Virunga

Watch This: Virunga

You must justify why you are on this Earth.
— André Bauma, Virunga National Park Ranger

Last week's controversy over the killing of one of Zimbabwe's most beloved lions shows that the line between legal hunting and poaching of the world's endangered species is beginning to blur.

One film that will blur that line even further is Netflix's Virunga. The 2014 documentary centers around Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to some of the world's last wild mountain gorillas and the park rangers that put their lives on the line to keep them alive.

Potential oil reserves underneath the park have made Virunga a target for foreign corporations—some less ethical than others. While never explicitly implicated, the film shows representatives from western oil companies undermine local government and toy with war lords in an apparent attempt to errode the park's legitimacy.

Caught in the crossfire are the mountain gorillas, whose only hope for survival to the next generation are the park rangers who would lay down their lives in order to preserve Virunga.

While you and I may find it easy to pick sides in the case of Cecil the Lion, Virunga shows that the extermination of species in our modern world is much messier than we care to admit. We can no longer choose to be complicit or not, we can only choose what role we will play.

Happy Earth Overshoot Day

Happy Earth Overshoot Day

Rogue Territory: Keep The Trade Alive

Rogue Territory: Keep The Trade Alive