With less than 300 of them left, Cross River gorilla sightings are a rare occurrence.
Cameras placed in a Cameroon forest have captured, for the first time, footage of a pack of Cross River gorillas, the rarest of the giant apes on the planet. The camera was set up by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, near the border of Cameroon and Nigeria. It’s believed that there are only between 250 and 300 of the Cross River gorillas, which are believed to inhabit those borderlands. They’re also much more shy of humans than the three other subspecies, meaning there have been precious few interactions between our species and these distant cousins – and until now, no video footage. And the footage is quite remarkable for two reasons, beyond its rarity. First, is that we get to see a silverback male run across the screen at about 1:10, beating his chest and generally being amazing. Second is that one of the gorillas appears to be missing a hand (seen at around the 1:25 mark), suggesting that it was probably lost in a hunter’s trap somewhere in the park, although the stump seems to have healed.