Ecologists and conservation biologists are using camera traps as portals into the everyday happenings in the animal kingdom—but we’re not talking caged animals at a zoo. Even on safaris targeted toward rural reserves, it can be hard to catch species in their native habitats. Carefully placed cameras have provided the perfect opportunity to view and study wildlife without bothering the subjects. The images from this specific initiative—which all together is referred to as Snapshot Serengeti—provide another valuable aspect aside from research: an extremely intimate look at the everyday life of wild animals.
How it works: The only roles people play in this process are setting up the camera, switching out batteries when they’re low, collecting the memory cards, and identifying the photo subjects. Whenever the camera senses movement, heat, or any other environmental change, it snaps a photo. The images don’t always include an animal—sometimes a breathtaking sunset shot makes an appearance instead.
The photos are raw; sometimes depicting gruesome group feasts, attempts to eat the camera itself, mini stampedes, and unexpected selfies. Click through for a glimpse into the Serengeti like you’ve never seen it before.