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The shooting deaths of four mountain gorillas -- three females and an alpha male silverback -- are prompting a United Nations agency to send a mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rangers made the gruesome find in the southern sector of Virunga National Park earlier this week, said Flora and Fauna International, an organization that acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems. The group said it is unclear who shot the gorillas or why.

"Just over 700 mountain gorillas survive in the wild today, and none exist in captivity," Flora and Fauna International said in a statement. "For such a small population, the unnecessary and indiscriminate killing of four mountain gorillas is a huge loss." Read full article »

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