Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has captured new images of the world’s rarest gorillas with several babies in southern Nigeria. The rare sight of the Cross River gorillas was spotted in the Mbe Mountains in Cross River State.
The WCS announced Wednesday that it “has released the first-known camera trap images of a group of Cross River gorillas with a number of infants of different ages.”
NEWS: We’ve just released the first-known camera trap shots of Cross River gorillas with a group of babies. It’s a promising sign for the world’s rarest gorilla: https://t.co/Hms6bV7pBn @WCS_Nigeria pic.twitter.com/Q36zhK0rQr— WCS (@TheWCS) July 8, 2020
“These recent images are the first time that multiple infants have been recorded in the same group,” WCS said.
According to conservationists, the Cross River gorillas are rarely seen or photographed. They are extremely shy of humans and they live in most rugged and inaccessible parts of their range.
In total, there are only about 300 individuals found in an isolated region along the Nigeria/Cameroon border. In 2012, images of the gorillas were also captured in Cameroon‘s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary.
In a statement, Inaoyom Imong, director of Cross River Landscape for Wildlife Conservation Society Nigeria said that the latest sighting is proof that Cross River gorillas are “well protected and reproducing and populations are recovering as a result of field-based protection efforts.”
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said Cross River gorillas are the world’s rarest great ape. The WCS said it is working closely with the Conservation Association of the Mbe Mountains, as well as, authorities in Nigeria’s Cross River state to protect the primates.