Conservationists working in Cameroon's Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary have collected the first camera trap video footage of the Cross River gorilla.
With fewer than 250 remaining, these gorillas are the world’'s rarest. They are a notoriously elusive species and are rarely observed directly by field researchers.
Collected from one of four video camera traps set by researchers in the protected area, the footage reveals eight Cross River gorillas casually making their way along a forest path.
World Conservation Society spokesperson Christopher Jameson says the video represents the best images to date of this species.
He says normally these gorillas are shy animals that flee at the slightest hint of human presence.
A person can study these animals for years and never catch a glimpse of them, much less see anything like this.”
They are limited to the remote forested mountainous terrain on the border region of Nigeria and Cameroon.
The subspecies is listed as critically endangered” and is threatened by both habitat destruction and hunting.
The entire population lives in a region of high human population density and heavy natural resource exploitation.
Local community residents in the area surrounding Kagwene do not directly hunt Cross River gorillas due to traditional beliefs, but they do set snares for other forest animals, and these could occasionally injure gorillas.
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