Conservationist, with remote cameras set up in Cameroon’s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, have captured footage of the Cross River gorillas—the rarest of the great apes. The Cross River gorillas are a critically endangered subspecies with fewer than 250 individuals remaining. Christopher Jameson, Director of WCS’s Takamanda Mone Landscape Project says that the gorillas are, “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.”
This subspecies of gorilla was thought to be extinct until they appeared again in the 1980s along the southern section of the Nigeria-Cameroon border. The Cross River gorillas face the same problems as many of their relatives with illegal hunting for bushmeat and habitat loss due to human population growth, threatening their future.
The Cameroon government established the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary in 2008, which evolved out of the “Gorilla Guardian” community network that the Wild Life Conservation Society created to improve survival prospects for the apes.