About Me

My photo
Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bears on the puma kill

After filling its stomach with one haunch the puma left and never returned. But 4 bears came to feed nightly and eventually a few other scavengers made their appearance.

Murphy's Law struck on the second night when the camera failed, but this whipped me into overkill mode. On each following night I staked two or three cameras. Each one operated independently and triggered one or two 27 watt LED lights.

I was learning on the run. When all cameras were in operation too much light marred some pretty cool clips. All I could do was adjust the position of cameras and lights every afternoon based on the previous night's results. I just didn't have the moxie to test the lights in darkness.

Then Murphy's Law got me again: the camera that gave by far the best clips in terms of lighting and perspective failed to record sound! 

I kept plugging away, and the game was up at the end of the week when the bears lost interest in the scraps.

I had an overwhelming 7 hours of very interesting video of variable quality.

This 3+ minute movie gives you an idea of what happened at the carcass on just one night and the next day.   


Woody Meristem said...

Very good video(s), that carcass disappeared quickly. Quite a contrast compared to the bear carcass I had a camera on at about the same time last year (https://forestandfield.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-saga-concludes.html). For some reason Murphy's Law seems to always rule.

randomtruth said...

Great vids Chris. That first bear really wanted to drag that carcass off, huh? Those huffs almost sound like frustration/disgust. :)

randomtruth said...

Btw - are those "plague" bears? :)

Camera Trap Codger said...

Ha ha! I guess they COULD be "plague bears". For those who don't get it -- Cal Fish & Wildlife recently "put down" two bears for depredation, and the necropsy showed they carried antibodies to plague. Double jeopardy. They were "bad bears" up to no good, and they could have infected us with plague, if we got close enough to get their fleas.

Actually they huff and puff quite frequently, and I wonder if it could also be a way of announcing your presence to other bears lurking in the darkness waiting their turn at the carcass.