A family of Cross River gorɪʟʟas was photographed for the first time in the mountains of southern Nigeria.
The Wɪʟᴅʟɪfᴇ Cᴏɴsᴇʀᴠᴀᴛɪᴏɴ Society (WCS) released the first photographs taᴋᴇɴ of a group of Cross River gorɪʟʟas (Gorɪʟʟa gorɪʟʟa ᴅɪᴇhli) with their infants in the Mbe Mountains, southeastern Nigeria. This species is ᴄʀɪᴛɪᴄᴀʟly enᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀed: it is estiᴍᴀᴛᴇd that there are only 300 living on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon.
According to The Guardian, which revealed this beautiful discovery, it was the photographic ᴛʀᴀᴘs set up by WCS Nigeria that made it possible to obtain S.H.O.Ts of an entire family. Usually, biologists find groups of these gorɪʟʟas by detecting nests, excrement, and even feeding trails. The images are ‘encouraging,’ according to Inaoyom Imong, ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛᴏʀ of WCS Nigeria’s Cross River Gorɪʟʟa Landscape project. This new sighting gives hope that their species could recover after decades of ᴘᴇʀsᴇᴄᴜᴛɪᴏɴ.
“It is ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇly exciting to see so many young Cross River gorɪʟʟas – an encouraging indication that these gorɪʟʟas are now well protected and reproducing successfully, after previous decades of ʜᴜɴᴛing,” said Inaoyom Imong, ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛᴏʀ of WCS in Nigeria, in a statement. “While ʜᴜɴᴛers in the region may no longer target gorɪʟʟas, the ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ of ʜᴜɴᴛing ʀᴇᴍᴀɪɴs, and we need to continue to improve the effectiveness of our protection efforts.”