Congo gorillas survive in rebel-held forest

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, Congo (AP) - November 26, 2008

Some of the world's last mountain gorillas have survived despite the violence around them. But now a breakthrough deal between the insurgents and the government will allow staff to return to the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park for the first time in 15 months.

Rangers and scientists from the Congolese Wildlife Authority have started a monthlong census to get a comprehensive look at the status and health of the highly endangered animals.

But a few rangers who stuck around through the fighting say if anything, the gorillas have thrived now that the frontlines of fighting have moved away.

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