International

Rare Nigeria gorillas with babies revealed on camera

Conservationists in Nigeria have released what they say are the first pictures, in many years, of a group of rare gorillas with babies in the country’s mountains.

The conservationists say this raises hope that the Cross River gorilla subspecies is successfully reproducing, despite facing extinction.

The Wild Conservation Society in Nigeria, an international NGO, said the pictures of the gorillas were captured by camera traps earlier this year.

The Cross River gorillas are said to be the most endangered gorilla subspecies, numbering only around 300 in the wild.

They were known to live in some mountainous areas in Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon but are rarely seen.

The recent images of the animals with a number of infants were captured in Mbe mountains in southern Nigeria, according to conservationists.

The Cross River gorillas are naturally wary of humans and have subtle distinctions from other species – such as smaller heads, longer arms and lighter-coloured hair.

The Wild Conservation Society says it is working closely with local communities and the authorities in Nigeria’s Cross River state to protect the gorillas.