Those who read the blog will know that, lately, I have been experimenting with the use of remote cameras. I have had some great advice from Bruce Kekule and Tim Redford (of the Freeland Surviving Together Programme), both, regarding some of the vagaries of operating remote cameras (also called trail cameras or camera traps) one of which was the need to counter for the effects of an elephant attack.
Both gents had warned me that an elephant attack was simply an issue of when it would happen and not an issue of if.
I had followed their advice accordingly and was using steel protection boxes on the cameras. I was beginning to wonder if the potential risks outweighed the downside of providing protection boxes as, to date, the protection boxes had caused their own wildlife problems for me. In one remote trail camera wasps had built a nest. In another, black ants had made their nest. Retrieving these cameras from their new tenants was both a difficult and a painful task for me but, at least, the cameras were not damaged.
That is more than I can say for one of my trail cameras this last week, which sustained an elephant attack. It must have been extremely painful for the poor camera judging by the damage caused to it even through the protective steel box.
The cameras, up to now, seem to have virtually no effect on the animals that they are capturing, indeed most animals just resolutely ignore the camera’s presence. They seem both unaffected and oblivious. But the footage below shows that the elephant really does react to the infrared light of this particular camera.
The elephant initially shows signs of extreme trepidation almost fear as it happens over the red glow of the cameras infrared light - but then, as the King of the Thai jungle that it is, it decides that this interloper in his forest kingdom is to be dealt with using maximum force! That's imperial not metric as the dose is in foot pounds!