I was initiated into the service by my father, who was also a ranger in Virunga National Park. Back then in the 1980s, there was a foreigner named Dr. Conrad Aveling who came to Bukima in the Mikeno Sector to habituate mountain gorillas to humans. He needed rangers and helpers to accompany him in his work, so my father and I volunteered.
After two days in the forest we encountered a group of gorillas. We kept trying to approach them, but they always fled. We would keep following them, but we ended up going around and around chasing after them. That is why we decided to call this gorilla family the Zunguruka group, which in Swahili means “going in circles”.
Dr. Aveling finally gave up and tried to habituate mountain gorillas living closer to Jomba, where he had more success. That first experience with the Zunguruka gorillas got me hooked and I became a ranger, but if my destiny had been different, I think I would have liked to be a professional footballer.