What is BushCam Adventures?

BushCam Adventures attempts to share some of the amazing images, stories and insights that I've collected during my camera-trapping adventures.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust

The lyrics from the chorus of Queen's famous song rattled around my  head as I searched in vain for my camera. I'd set it up at a well used water-hole near South Africa's famous Kruger Park recently. My companions watched my back as I stomped around, but I knew the chances of finding it in one piece were slim. We'd seen 3 of the 'big 5' in the area and knew that leopards were only a few hundred meters away so I didn't venture far into the thick bush. I'd attached it to a decent sized rock, sprayed it with pepper spray and disguised it as best I could, but it was now gone.

I'd swopped the memory card out the day before and had found these images, but who was the likely culprit?

An African Civet (Civettictis civetta) had wandered past the evening before. These civets are certainly large enough to damage a camera but I really doubt this was the perpetrator.

Our baboons (Papio ursinus), love tampering with camera-traps but, in my experience, haven't ever stolen one. They'd walked past this one repeatedly the day before without showing any interest. With a leopard around I guess they had bigger issues to think about.

This Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) had shown a lot of interest the day before but had seemed strangely wary. I guess it was the pepper spray that had kept him at bay.

However, my gut feel tells me it was these guys:

This image was from another camera in the area since they hadn't drunk at this spot the day before. The area around the water-hole was still wet from all the splashing. This was a large breeding herd with a number of young testosterone-filled bulls pushing each other around. What makes me think ellies were involved was that the rock and disguising logs appeared to have been flung around. That's not usually trademark hyaena behaviour - especially with pepper spray on them. Elephants are known to have been responsible for the demise of many a camera-trap.

So if you're ever in the area and see a Bushnell Trophy cam hanging in a tree, please get it down and phone me. My number is on the camera and the pepper spray should have worn off by then. The last few images should make for interesting viewing!


  1. Bummer about losing the camera, but great to see you posting again and some cool pictures!!!

  2. I am getting a lot of trailcam tampering by first year fallow deer and am wondering whether the newer Low glow or black flash Bushnells will attract them less...

  3. And I complain about bears... You should try the Codger's trick for bears and elephants. He makes a metal/wood bracket that fits on the face of the camera after setup, and has a dozen or so 4" long wood screws through it that point out around the edges of the bracket, ala a porcupine. The sharp tips generally deter curious bear noses and elephant trunks.

  4. I like the idea of the 'porcupine' bracket - thanks. I'll give it a try.

  5. Here's his post when he first start designing the guards. He's refined the idea since for use in Burma with elephants (more and longer screws, easier to clip on...), but the story and photos convey the concept well.