Camera Trap Snags Video of World
A camera placed in Cameroon’s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary has captured remarkable footage of the elusive Cross River gorilla. In the two-minute video, eight of the critically endangered gorillas make their way through the forest. One sits by a tree, seemingly waiting for the rest of the troop to catch up. Another makes its way on only three limbs because it’s missing a hand, perhaps severed by a snare. At one particularly thrilling moment, a silverback stands and charges the camera, beating its chest. (See video below)
Because the apes are shy and typically flee at any hint of human presence, there’s very little footage of them. “The footage provides us with our first tantalizing glimpses of Cross River gorillas behaving normally in their environment,” Christopher Jameson, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which posted the video, said in a press release. “A person can study these animals for years and never even catch a glimpse of the gorillas, much less see anything like this."
There are only thought to be 250 to 300 of the rare apes left, and probably less than 200 mature adults, according to the IUCN Red List. Habitat degradation and fragmentation from farming and roads, along with hunting, are the biggest threats they face. The gorillas are spread throughout a dozen or so locations in the mountainous region along the border of Nigeria and Cameroon, surrounded by extremely dense human settlement. Inbreeding is a concern because of the small, isolated groups, though genetic data suggest that the occasional migrant will join another group and reproduce.
“The appearance of a possible snare injury is a reminder that continued law enforcement efforts are needed to prevent further injuries to gorillas in the sanctuary," said Liz Macfie, gorilla coordinator for WCS's Species Program.
The camera trap is one of four set up by researchers in the protected area.
Motion-detector cameras are increasingly being used to around the globe, and Audubon has some fantastic examples. Check out:
“Bear Essentials,” a photo gallery of wonderfully candid shots of black bears caught on a trail in Florida.
A fabulous video of a grizzly bear pole dancing, er, getting a good back scratch by rubbing up against a tree. (The grizzly footage, set to music, is one of my favorite wildlife videos ever – WATCH IT!)
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