Cross River Gorilla are the world’s rarest gorilla and were caught on camera for the first time ever. Researchers estimate that there are only around 250 to 300 Cross River Gorillas on the planet. They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are one of the 25 most endangered primates.
The Cross River gorillas live in the mountains on the Cameroon-Nigeria border. Being in the mountains, the gorillas suffer from environmental and physical threats. They are also isolated from any others of their kind like the western lowland gorilla who are geographically and genetically the closest relative.
The rarest gorilla video shows eight gorillas traveling through the forest in Cameroon. The video offers a glimpse of classic gorilla behavior. The video was collected from one of four video camera traps set up by researchers in the protected area. Cross River gorillas are extremely shy, and typically flee at the first sight of humans.
“This video gives us all a spectacular view into the hidden world of one of our closest relatives, which is in dire need of our help to survive,” said Steve Sanderson, WCS President and CEO.
Christopher Jameson, director of WCS’s Takamanda Mone Landscape Project said, “The video represents the best images to date of Cross River gorillas, normally shy animals that flee at the slightest hint of human presence. The footage provides us with our first tantalizing glimpses of Cross River gorillas behaving normally in their environment. A person can study these animals for years and never even catch a glimpse of the gorillas, much less see anything like this.”
Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary was established in 2008 and formed by the Cameroonian government to protect the Cross River Gorilla. Dr. James Deutsch, Executive Director for WCS’s Africa Program explained in a press release, “Spectacular footage such as this, which we’ve never had before for Cross River gorillas, is absolutely vital to inspire local people, the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon, and the global community to care about and to save this unique subspecies. Continued research of this kind will help fine-tune management plans to protect this rarest of apes.”