Grab the tissues, as this just might be the sweetest story we have ever come across.
Forget kitten videos on YouTube because baby gorillas have been caught on camera to prove the world’s rarest great ape species may not be facing extinction as thought.
Cameras set up in the Mbe mountains in Nigeria have captured the gorillas – known as the ‘Cross River’ species – and confirmed they are actively reproducing.
The unique landscape, across approximately 85km², is not only home to the gorillas but also a number of other unique species such as the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee ‘Pan Troglodytes Ellioti’ and forest elephants known as the ‘Loxodonta Cyclotis’ tribe.
Thanks to WCS Nigeria – an organisation on a mission to save wildlife through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature – they have managed to capture remarkable photos of their gorillas for the first time in years.
The stunning pictures show a family of apes with the baby carried on an elder’s back.
Night vision cameras also show the species trekking across the Mbe Mountains in adorable scenes with the little one clutching on for balance during the journey.
With only 300 apes left in the wild and living in a region populated by humans who have encroached upon their territory by clearing forests for timber and to create fields for agriculture and livestock, the future of these wonderful creatures is in question.
Camera traps at the WCS sites in Africa have only captured a few images in recent years, including one from 2012 in Cameroon’s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary.
Yet none of the rare apes have been seen, recorded or reported killed since then.
Now, conservationists are hopeful that with the sight of the newborn, this could signify a change in the species’ population.