[Macrogalidia approaches the camera trap]
"Macro" eventually made an appearance, and was even curious about the camera, but we didn't have the satisfaction of knowing this until we were back in the states and had the film developed.
However, our spirits were buoyed whenever we checked the camera's film counter. Sometimes a 36-exposure roll was exposed in a couple days.
What we eventually learned was that most of those exposures were made by night flying moths and falling leaves. They had all passed through the 6-foot pencil-thick beam of light between the sensor and reflector. (See this post for camera details.)
[the camera trap: Nikon FE and flash housed in a wooden case
and wired to an external photoelectric trigger.]
We baited the site with a live chicken, tethered above but just beyond the sensor's beam.
[Ken Lang and CW preparing the site, photo by Larry Collins]
We hauled 20 lbs of river sand and spread it on the trail so we could see tracks. The final incentive was a ripe banana hung on the tree in the background.
It was a time consuming process, and checking the cam required a 1000 ft climb from Watling's hut on the Mewe River to the game trail on the ridge.
The civet came and fetched the banana.
Then it killed and ate the chicken.
In 1999 or so, a film maker from New Zealand wrote to me and proposed a documentary on Macro.
It was a splendid offer to revisit Sulawesi and take part in the story, but I was overcommitted and very much involved in a project in Burma. I told him that Jack West, who lived nearby in Australia, spoke Bahasa Indonesia, and had been very much involved-- was his man.
Jack spent 5 months in the field, and it took 18 months to trap another Macro, but now it is a matter of record. Jack got excellent footage of the civet moving about in an enclosure, and it is all in the film.