Fish & Game News December 2, 2013 Elliott
A sea eagle has stolen a video camera set up in the Australian outback to film crocodiles and flown with it for 70 miles, accidentally creating a bizarre, self-made wildlife movie.
Aboriginal rangers assumed the missing motion-sensor camera had fallen into the water until it turned up several weeks later near the Mary River in Western Australia, miles away from its original spot at the Margaret River. Rangers were able to recover three thirty-second films from the camera.
A ranger, Roneil Skeen, said cameras had been moved by animals before but never turned into a “flying camera”.
“Unexpectedly our camera went missing so we thought we had lost it because it fell into the water,” he told ABC News.
“It was pretty amazing… They’ve had camera traps moved [by animals] before, but not taken off, like a flying camera you know?”
Rangers had placed the camera at a gorge last May to try and capture images of fresh-water crocodiles.
Mr Skeen said the rangers were “shocked” that the eagle flew with the camera on its journey and believed it was a young bird because older eagles would have dropped it.
“We knew it was a juvenile eagle because the adult sea eagles, once they get their food or their prey, they usually take it right up into the sky and drop it,” he said.
“But this one was still learning because he just took it near the cliff-side and he never dropped [it], he just put it down and started picking at it. An adult one would have flown it right up the top and yeah for sure it would have smashed that camera.”
The rangers said they plan to bolt cameras down in future.
Source: Telegraph UK