World’s Rarest Gorilla Caught on Film in Cameroon


Written by Stephen Messenger

Cross River gorillas rank among the world’s most endangered and elusive species. Numbering as few as 250 individuals, the rarest of African apes has scarcely been observed in the wild, even by those committed to studying their behavior. But now, for one of the first times ever, the Cross River gorilla’s haunting beauty and incredible strength have been caught on film in the wild.

The clip seen below was recorded in the Cross River gorilla’s dwindling habitat near Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, a region hit hard by human encroachment and poaching. By installing motion-sensing camera traps in the forests, the Wildlife Conservation Society managed to capture this haunting scene of the gorillas in the wild — and though a bit grainy, it might be the most candid peek behind the veil of mystery that still surrounds them.

“The footage provides us with our first tantalizing glimpses of Cross River gorillas behaving normally in their environment,” says Christopher Jameson, director of the Takamanda Mone Landscape Project, to the Christian Science Monitor. “A person can study these animals for years and never even catch a glimpse of the gorillas, much less see anything like this.”

In terms of wildlife footage obtained by such means, this recording is quite remarkable. More often than not, camera traps yield only fleeting glimpses of target species passing by the lens, leaving researchers with perhaps two or three clear frames with which to study. In this footage, however, eight gorillas linger for two long minutes. And, at 1:18 in the clip, a silverback male even charges towards the camera, pounding his chest in an intimidating display of strength.

Sadly, given the precarious state of Cross River gorillas in the wild, this rare footage could one day be all that remains of them for future generations.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo from davidandbecky via flickr

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Huber F.
Huber F.2 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

they should have been better protected to begin with

Isabelle J.
Isabelle J.3 years ago


Isabelle J.
Isabelle J.3 years ago


federico bortoletto

Proteggiamo i gorilla.

federico bortoletto

Proteggiamo i gorilla..

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Diarmuid Hanley
Diarmuid Hanley3 years ago

Wonderful footage, wow that silverbacks was fast and powerful. Bet the guys studying them are Oberon the moon but let's hope that the poachers don't learn from this to use cameras for their horrible trade! Why don't these countries do everything they can to protect them. Especially Nigeria, it's rich enough, but alas alack they don't care. Look happened recently with the hundreds of elephants massacred for their ivory in the same area, or Cameroon and Nigeria. This looked like it was even organised by people in power.God, 250 individuals left, that's terrible,I pray for their survival and protection.

Christine Stewart

Please stay safe, gorillas!

janet f.
janet f.3 years ago

OMG, that poor animal without a hand. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been. We need to keep tabs on them to keep them safe, but at far enough a distance where they'll continue to be free of any human intervention.