Researchers are excited, having discovered a group of the world rarest gorillas species carrying their babies in Nigeria.
Seven Cross Rivers Gorillas were seen carrying their babies at the Mbe Mountains Community Forest in Cross River by the Wildlife Conservation Society in May and June.
According to the WCS, an international non-governmental organization, the pictures were captured by cameras that had been planted in the mountains for some time.
It was further noted that the gorillas and the world rarest great ape and avoid humans as much as possible, due to a long history of maltreatment.
Experts say that the sighting of the breed is positive sign that they are reproducing, saying that no babies have been caught on cameras before.
A team of 16 eco-guards has reportedly been recruited to patrol and protect the gorillas and other wildlife.
The images of the gorillas are the clearest sign of the species’ gradual resurgence, said Inaoyom Imong, director of WCS Nigeria’s Cross River Gorilla Landscape project.
“It is extremely exciting to see so many young Cross River gorillas – an encouraging indication that these gorillas are now well protected and reproducing successfully after previous decades of hunting,” he said.
Imong also noted that better protections for the gorillas were still needed.
“While hunters in the region may no longer target gorillas, the threat of hunting remains, and we need to continue to improve the effectiveness of our protection efforts.”
See photos below: