Four-Legged Curiosity and Another Camera Trap Thief

curious young lesula
Is this Lesula curious?

After all, the camera trap is a novelty, although it strives to be too cryptic to notice.

elephant, close but not interested

Most often animals march right by, or continue unperturbed with the day’s business…

This is true of elephants,

of bonobos,

of leopards

A discrete camera will record who is there and what they are doing…

But, once noticed the camera trap elicits a response that can seem like


These bonobos are at least mildly spooked.


Perhaps it is the metallic taste or a residual human odor.

or Curiosity.

Is the leopard trying to elicit a reaction?

Even Congo Peafowl seem intrigued….are they seeing their reflection in that bit of glass?

And a group of Lesula, newly discovered terrestrial primate species, gather to examine it from a few angles.

But generally the camera trap inspection and “mild alarm” do not result in marked avoidance or any perceptible change of behavior. Nevertheless, the elephant’s “curiosity” — not surprisingly – has led to loss of camera traps. A sort of innocent thievery.

2014 elephant core area in Lomami Park
Elephants moved over a camera trap grid set up on the Losekola study area in the northern Lomami Park. Where the dung was most abundant, the camera trap disappeared.

So be it….


  1. Miguel
    Posted 2014-12-15 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic work !!!!

  2. Kate Detwiler
    Posted 2014-12-17 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    These video clips are fantastic! As always thanks for posting.

  3. Joel M
    Posted 2015-01-15 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Love the camera trap clips! Its great to see a troupeau of 6 elephants in PN Lomami! One of them really seemed to be huge – all legs.

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