Conservationists have captured the first pictures in years of a group of rare Cross River gorillas with multiple babies in mountains in southern Nigeria. The released pictures of the gorillas seen at Nigeria's Mbe Mountains are proof that the subspecies once feared to be extinct are reproducing amid protection efforts.
At some point, only about 300 of the Cross River gorillas, which are considered the most endangered gorilla subspecies were believed to be alive in the isolated mountainous region in Nigeria and Cameroon.
They are rarely seen. The Cross River gorillas are naturally suspicious of humans and have subtle distinctions from other species, like smaller heads, longer arms, and lighter-colored hair.
The Wildlife Conservation Society in Nigeria, an international non-governmental organization, said the pictures of the gorillas were captured by camera traps earlier this year, more colored images were recovered last month.
The NGO says it is working closely with authorities of Cross River state and local communities to sustain protection of the gorillas.