Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Rarest Gorilla Revealed in Camera Trap Video
An extraordinary new video reveals the first camera trap footage of the Cross River gorilla, the world's rarest gorilla.
Although the video, shot by Wildlife Conservation Society conservationists in Cameroon's Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, is only a few minutes long, it presents a vivid microcosm of these primates' lives -- their suffering at the hands of humans, their struggle, but also their pride.
As the footage (see it below) begins, you can see one gorilla stopping briefly to rest under a tree, but then compelled to move forward by the troop. When another spots the camera trap, it briefly charges, Tarzan style, toward the screen, beating its chest.
Watching the footage, the connection to these magnificent animals, who are in turn so connected to us on the primate family tree, is undeniable. You can see how one gorilla has lost its hand, likely in a snare set by poachers, but the individual keeps moving and trying to survive. One can only wonder how hard that gorilla's life is now.
Fewer than 250 Cross River gorillas remain in the world. This video footage may be one of the last reminders of their existence. They are rarely observed by field researchers, so who knows when such footage will ever be captured again.
Full story here.