Scovill Zoo unveils new sculpture

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Scovill Zoo unveiled a new sculpture Friday.

The sculpture was donated by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The zoo held a news conference to show the addition. Decatur Parks Foundation Board Member Brian Byers, Park Board President Bob Brilley II, and Zoo Director Ken Frye all spoke.

The sculpture shows a gorilla and two armed guards. It marks Virunga National Park, Africa's oldest park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Virunga and neighboring parks in Rwanda and Uganda are home to the world's remaining population of mountain gorillas. There are only 880 reported left in 2016.

The sculpture goes on to tell zoo visitors that more than 160 of Virunga's park rangers have been killed in the line of duty since the late 1990s, dying while protecting the gorillas from poachers and militants.

The sculpture is located by the aviary on the east side of the zoo.

Scovill Zoo opens for the season this Saturday.

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