A family of Cross River gorillas has been photographed for the first time in the mountains in the south of Nigeria.
There are only 300 of this species left in the wild. On Thursday 9th July, a very rare photograph was taken of a family of Cross River gorillas, the rarest great apes in the world, in the mountains in southern Nigeria. This species also happens to be the most endangered gorilla subspecies in the world.
A new hope for the species
According to The Guardian who picked up this beautiful discovery, camera traps that had been set up by the WCS Nigeria Program made it possible to obtain pictures of an entire family of this gorilla. As Inaoyom Imong, director of the WCS Nigeria’s Cross River Gorilla Landscape project, explains, this footage was very ’encouraging’ and this recent sighting suggests that the species could be recovering after decades of hunting. He explains:
It is extremely exciting to see so many young Cross River gorillas – an encouraging indication that these gorillas are now well protected and reproducing successfully after previous decades of hunting. While hunters in the region may no longer target gorillas, the threat of hunting remains, and we need to continue to improve the effectiveness of our protection efforts.
Victims of poaching
Extremely suspicious of humans after decades of poaching and hunting, these gorillas were rediscovered back in the 1980s. What remains of this species tend to live in the deepest gorges and canyons that are inaccessible to humans.