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Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Share Rare Photos of a Cross River Gorilla Family

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 10, 2020 12:23 pm

WCS Cross river gorilla

Photo Credit: Photo © WCS Nigeria. Cross River gorilla group including adults and young of different ages Mbe Mountains, Nigeria June 2020

The Wildlife Conservation Society has shared camera trap photos of a group of Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) in an exciting update on the current state of these gorillas in the wild.

Due to a long history of persecution by humans the Cross River gorilla is now found only in an isolated forest on the Nigeria/ Cameroon border. Here the population numbers just 300 individuals.

These camera trap photos show the first time the gorillas have been captured as a group with multiple young present. They were captured in the Mbe mountains of Nigeria.

Camera trap photos of the Cross River gorilla are a rare occurrence and in the past have only captured lone silverbacks or a female with a single young.

Photo Credit: Photo © WCS Nigeria. Cross River gorilla group including adults and young of different ages Mbe Mountains, Nigeria June 2020

Inaoyom Imong, Director of WCS Nigeria’s Cross River Landscape said: “It is extremely exciting to see so many young Cross River gorillas – an encouraging indication that these gorillas are now well protected and reproducing successfully, after previous decades of hunting. While hunters in the region may no longer target gorillas, the threat of hunting remains, and we need to continue to improve the effectiveness of our protection efforts.”

It was previously believed that the Cross River gorilla had gone extinct in the wild but a population was rediscovered in the late 1980s. A population of 100 gorillas now lives across three contiguous sites in the Cross River State. One of these the Mbe Mountians forest is jointly managed by Wildlife Conservation Society ([WCS] who took these photos) and the Conservation Association of the Mbe Mountains. Here they support 16 guards who help protect the gorilla population.

Photo Credit: Photo © WCS Nigeria. Cross River gorilla group including adults and young of different ages Mbe Mountains, Nigeria June 2020

The successes within the population of the gorillas at Mbe Mountain is attributed to strong support from local community partners.

Reacting to seeing the gorilla images, the head chief of one of the surrounding villages (Kanyang I), Otu Gabriel Ocha said: "I am very happy to see these wonderful pictures of Cross River gorillas with many babies in our forest.  This shows that our conservation efforts in partnership with WCS are yielding fruits. I hope that we can continue these efforts so that we can pass the heritage to future generations."

Learn more about the work of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) here – Wildlife Conservation Society

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