Critically endangered Cross River gorillas photographed

Posted by Imogen Searra on 9 July 2020

A family of critically endangered Cross River gorillas were captured on a camera trap in Nigeria’s Mbe mountains. The Wild Conservation Society (WCS), a non-governmental organisation, said the images are a ‘promising sign for the world’s rarest gorilla.’

The Cross River gorilla has a population of 250-300 individuals according to WWF. Their habitat is restricted to a highland forest area bordering on Cameroon and Nigeria.

Extremely shy of humans due to a long history of persecution, Cross River gorillas live in the most rugged and inaccessible parts of their range. Their presence can be detected mainly by indirect signs such as nests, dung and feeding trails.

‘They are distributed patchily over a mountainous, forested landscape spanning some 12,000 square kilometers across the transboundary region of Cross River Nigeria and Takmanda-Mone Cameroon,’ said WCS in a statement.

These animals are distinguishable by their lighter coloured hair, long arms and smaller heads, according to BBC. ”The Cross River gorilla is a subspecies of the western gorilla. It differs from from the other subspecies, the western lowland gorilla, in skull and tooth dimensions,’ said WWF.

Cross River gorillas faces the risk of extinction due to habitat loss and hunting.

To see more photos of the gorillas, visit WCS’s website here.

Image credit: Twitter/ @TheWCS


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