A rare species of gorillas was captured on one of four video cameras set up in Cameroon’s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Cross River gorillas are said to be the world’s rarest gorillas, with only about 250 still alive.
“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,” Steve Sanderson, president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in an online statement.
Cross River gorillas are also the world’s most shy gorillas, at least around researchers. They don’t seem bothered by cameras though.
Footage from one camera shows several Cross River gorillas walking in the forest.
One male silverback appears to be showing off, researchers say. He beats his chest and appears to run toward the camera. Another gorilla takes a break and leans against a tree. One gorilla seems to be missing a hand.
“Cross River gorillas occur in very low densities across their entire range, so the appearance of a possible snare injury is a reminder that continued law enforcement efforts are needed to prevent further injuries to gorillas in the sanctuary,” said Dr. Liz Macfie, gorilla coordinator for WCS’s Species Program.
The Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary was established by the government of Cameroon in 2008 to protect the endangered gorillas. It evolved out of the “Gorilla Guardian” community network, created by the WCS to give gorillas a better chance to survive in unprotected forest sites in Cameroon.
Kagwene is the only site where daily monitoring of Cross River gorilla movements takes place, WCS says.