By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
World's rarest gorilla caught on camera
With just 250 of their kind left in the world, Cross River gorillas are the most endangered African ape. Even the conservationists working steadfastly to save these gorillas rarely catch a glimpse of them. But earlier this month, WCS conservationists captured the first-ever video trap footage of a Cross River troop deep in the tropical forests of Cameroon.
It's a spectacular snapshot of everyday life for one of our closest relatives in the wild – and it's research like this that will ultimately stand between the Cross River gorilla and extinction.
As my colleague Christopher Jameson, Director of WCS's Takamanda Mone Landscape Project, said, "A person can study these animals for years and never even catch a glimpse of the gorillas, much less see anything like this."
The video was recorded on a remote camera hidden in Cameroon's Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary. At one point, a male silverback appears, surveying the area before running past the camera lens giving a classic chest-beating display. When you watch the video, also pay special attention at 0:46 in the sequence, when another gorilla emerges with a missing hand.
Most likely, a hunter's snare caused this injury. It's a somber reminder of what life was like for these gorillas before increased patrolling in the now-protected area, and why it's so critical to keep this up.
This video represents the groundbreaking work that YOU make possible. The ongoing research of these gorillas is the product of a partnership between WCS and the government of Cameroon – a project made possible because of your support. By sharing it with local people and governments, we can inspire greater concern for the fate of gorillas and fine-tune our strategies to help save them.
But without your continued support, we might never see images of Cross River gorillas like this again.
Vice President, Species Conservation
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.