Watch this rare footage of the most endangered gorillas on Earth

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Our planet is home to just four subspecies of gorilla. Every one of them is endangered, but rarest of all is the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli). Fewer than 250 of these primates are thought to survive in the wild, they typically flee when encountered by humans, and are notoriously camera shy. All this is to say that the footage you see up top is incredibly rare.

The video was recently captured by a motion-activated camera in the forests of Cameroon, and was released yesterday by the Wildlife Conservation Society. These motion-activated, or "trap" cameras, are incredibly useful tools for conservationists tracking elusive or endangered species, as we've seen before.


The two-minute video offers an unprecedented glimpse at the natural behavior of eight Cross River gorillas in their native habitat, including some awesome chest-thumping action a little past the one-minute mark.


"Spectacular footage such as this, which we've never had before for Cross River gorillas, is absolutely vital to inspire local people, the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon, and the global community to care about and to save this unique subspecies," explained James Deutsch, executive director for WCS's Africa Program. "Continued research of this kind will help fine-tune management plans to protect this rarest of apes."

[Spotted on 80beats]