The rarest gorilla, the Cross River gorilla, has been seen by hidden cameras in a forest in Cameroon.
Footage of the rarest gorilla was captured for the first time ever by conservationists who set up cameras in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary in Cameroon. The Cross River gorilla is so rare that there are fewer than 250 of them in existence.
The rarest gorilla species is found mostly on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, and it is the most endangered of the African apes. They are extremely shy and typically run away at the sight of a human.
The Cross River gorillas seen in the video were traveling in a group of eight. The short video footage gives a remarkable glimpse into the lives of these animals in their natural habitat.
“The footage provides us with our first tantalizing glimpse of Cross River gorillas behaving normally in their environment,” Christopher Jameson, Director of the Takamanda Mone Landscape Project said, “A person can study these animals for years and never even catch a glimpse of the gorillas, much less see anything like this.”
At one point in the video, a large male silverback gorilla charges across the screen pounding his chest. Next, a gorilla with a missing hand can be seen wandering across the footage. The wound appears to be healed, but the Wildlife Conservation Society, the group that caught the footage, claims that it’s a sign of traps and snares in the area.
“Cross River gorillas occur in very low densities across their entire range, so the appearance of possible snare injury is a reminder that continued law enforcement efforts are needed to prevent further injuries to gorillas in the sanctuary,” Liz Macfie, gorilla coordinator for WCS’s Species Program, said in a statement.
Now that the rarest gorilla has been seen on camera, conservationists will have more ammunition to convince local law enforcement to step up their hunting and trapping laws. But the footage also gives us a look at something so rare and fragile that it could be gone in a matter of years without intervention.
Check out the video to catch a glimpse of the rarest gorilla seen on film.