NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) — Conservationists say the world’s rarest great ape has finally been captured on professional video on a forested mountain in Cameroon.
The Wildlife Conservation Society said a film crew from Germany’s NDR Naturfilm video taped the elusive Cross River gorilla earlier this year in a stand of trees in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary. The protected area was created in 2008 specifically to protect the world’s rarest great ape.
“These gorillas are extremely wary of humans and are very difficult to photograph or film,” said Dr. Roger Fotso, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cameroon Program. “Eventually, we identified and staked out some of the gorillas favorite fig trees, which is where we finally achieved our goal.”
The only previous image of the rare apes was taken from a long distance with a hand-held camera in 2005 by a field researcher.
The new video of two gorillas feeding for several minutes on figs was shot about 40 feet above the forest floor.
“These extraordinary images are vital for the fight to save the world’s least known and rarest ape, as well as the mountain rainforest on which they depend,” said James Deutsch, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program.
Classified as critically endangered, the Cross River gorilla is the rarest of the four sub-species of gorilla, numbering fewer than 300 individuals across their entire range in Cameroon and Nigeria.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International